In 38 eastern greys, all used their left paw when grooming, bringing objects to their mouth, leaning on one paw or stepping first on one paw. Photograph: Courtesy Andrey Giljov and National Geographic Society
by Monica Tan
Kangaroos are generally left-handed according to a new study.
The finding challenges a prior assumption that the consistent favouring of one hand over the other is a characteristic unique to humans and certain primates.
Wildlife ecologist Janeane Ingram said it was the first time a marsupial population had been shown to have such a strong preference for one hand, with the observed kangaroos showing a left-handed preference 95% of the time.
The joint study was conducted by the University of Tasmania and University of New South Wales, along with researchers Andrey Giljov, Karina Karenina and associate professor Yegor Malashichev from Saint Petersburg State University, who had first observed the trait in red-necked wallabies kept in Russian zoos.
Red-necked wallabies also showed a strong preference for the left paw, with one interesting exception. Photograph: Courtesy Andrey Giljov and National Geographic Society.
Note: Molly Dooker is Australian slang for being left handed which means that Kangaroos who are left-handed are Molly Dooker Roos according to a new study.