Monday, November 19, 2012

Can animals be right- or left-handed?

Simple answer is Yes.

If you prefer complicated answer, read on. Animals can be right-eyed, or left-footed - some animals do not have 'hands'. In the 1930s, parrots were given slices of carrot or apple, which they picked up with one foot before eating. 75% used their left foot, and in some species every bird was found to be left-footed.

I think this Malayan tiger is left-handed. Lok Kawi wildlife park, shot with Nikon @70mm


Fish tend to dodge consistently either left or right when evading a predator, using their preferred eye to deal with the threat. Humpback whales prefer the right side of their jaws when feeding.

Cats and dogs have preferences, too. In one study, psychologists in Belfast played for weeks with 42 pet cats. Although the cats would use either paw for easy tasks they reverted to their favoured side for more complex ones. In females this was usually the right paws, and in toms the left. In a tricky task of fishing a piece of tuna out of a small jar, all 21 females used their right paw.

Dogs behave similarly until they are spayed or neutered (sterilised/castrated), when the difference disappears, suggesting hormones play a role in left- or right-handedness.

Reference: DE, November 18,2012. Q&A pp-13.

5 comments:

Marya Yusof said...

Hola de enginuer!

Como esta? Hey, ilmu baru! Tapi apa yg saya tahu left-handed bukan penyakit kan hehehe ;)

gadisBunga™ said...

nice shot!

Nancy Claeys said...

I think all nature's creatures have a preference -- teach a dog to "shake" and they offer the same paw every time. :)

rainfield61 said...

I need to observe more in the forest in order to conclude this RH and LH theory.

smilla4blogs said...

Fascinating information in your post...now wishing my dog wasn't neutered so I could observe his preferences!