Based on recent biological researches, kangaroos are left-handed, scientists have concluded after carefully studying the hand predilection of the mammals. The study was conducted by Yegor Malashichev, a Russian professor at the State University of Sankt Petersburg, who has concluded that kangaroos have a different brain structure than the rest of the mammals.
The evolutionary biology expert paid closer attention to the behavior of the kangaroos after the ACT government decided to kill many of the eastern grey exemplars in Australia to prevent overpopulation. The decision has triggered the discontent of many animal rights organizations and inspired many scientists to get actively involved.
Malashichev studied the behavior of two species of kangaroos currently living in Australia, namely, the eastern grey and red kangaroos. The study enabled him to see that the wallabies prefer to use their left hands for fine activities, such as, picking their nose, grasping tree leaves and shacking tree branches. The right hand, on the other hand, is usually used to carry out activities that require strength.
Naturally, scientists wanted to get to the bottom of this mystery, so they have looked for possible explanations of the unusual left-handedness in kangaroos. The Russian researcher found out that the brain of the bipeds has a different structure than the one of other species.
More specifically, there is no neural link between the two hemispheres of the kangaroo brain telling them to favor one hand over the other. The two halves of the brain are, for that matter, equally formed; there is no hemisphere that is more developed than the other one, as it is usually the case with mammals.
In spite of the explanation that the brain study has provided, experts were not able to understand how kangaroos managed to assign one hand to a particular type of activity and the other one to the others. They suppose that this difference appeared as the exemplars carried out feeding activities.
The team of researchers from Russia has further underlined the fact that eastern grey and red-necked kangaroos are the ones that present this hand distinction. Although this aspect hasn’t been looked into, the geographical location of the two species might have also contributed to their left-handedness.
2466 kangaroos in Australia are expected to be killed by August 2015, as the government thinks there are too many exemplars in reserves and their presence might affect the flora. So far, half of the kangaroos have been killed, in spite of the efforts that animal rights activists have made.
Image source: cdn4.scmp.com
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