Previously it was believed that humans and certain primates are the only one who favor one hand over the other but now Kangaroos have been declared left-handed, according to a new study.
According to the study Kangaroos show preference for their left hand 95% of the time.
The eastern grey kangaroo is found in eastern and southern Australia and is also called the great grey kangaroo. This was the first time a marsupial population has been found to have a preference in which hand they use – as stated by wildlife ecologist Janeane Ingram.
The first indication of this was observed in red-necked wallabies from Russia. It was observed by a joint study conducted by the University of Tasmania, University of South Wales and researchers Andrey Giljov, Karina Karenina and Yegor Malashichev.
In 2012 and 2013 an extensive research was conducted on the two species, the wild red-necked wallabies and the eastern grey, by taking thousands of visuals of kangaroos during manual movements. Special photo-recognition software was used to click the numerous pictures.
After the study conducted on 38 eastern grey’s it was noticed that they used their left paw for grooming, bringing food to their mouths, leaning one paw or stepping first on one paw. While the red-necked wallabies also showed preference for their left paw but they used their right paw for stronger work such as pulling a branch down but brought leaves to their mouth using the left paw.
Although such strong preferences for a particular hand, as seen in humans, where 90% of the people strongly prefer their right hand and the other 10% prefer their left, have been very uncommon in any other species.
A study on the four limbed Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo in Germany showed no such preference, making this a discovery of the first two-legged animal other than humans and great apes that have a strong preference for one particular hand.
This discovery could lead to a better research of the left and right brain hemispheres, unlocking new brain pathways.