Total Pageviews

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Kangaroos are Southpaws in More Ways Than One

     Kangaroos are predominantly left-pawed according to a June 18, 2015, study of Eastern Gray and Red kangaroos published in Cell Biology by Andrey Giljov et al of Saint Petersburg State University. 


     The pawedness of these bipedal marsupials was observed during eating and grooming. A connection to walking on two legs for a paw dominance was noted. Bipedal wallabies (shown below) also showed a left-hand preference. The wallabies used their left paws for fine motor skills and right paws for strength. Quadruped marsupials like tree kangaroos did not show a predominant paw.




      The researchers were surprised to find a dominant paw at all since marsupial brains do not have a corpus callosum, the connecting tissue between the two sides of the brain which humans and many other placental mammals have.




      This Smithsonian article describes the kangaroo research as being useful to understanding dominant handedness in humans. Additionally, left-handedness in humans correlates with less specialized brains.

      Any southpaws out there among PEOTSers? Maizie is right-pawed and I am right-handed.

Chirality yours,
Steph







50 comments:

  1. I’m a righty who always “rooed” not being a lefty. As the fellow in the video mentioned, lefties have advantages in baseball, tennis and other sports. I was jealous of that advantage.

    Baseball was my game. I was a mediocre hitter. Statistically, righty batters fare better versus southpaws (or “portsiders,” a glorious synonym!) and vice versa. (BTW, we have to begin using non-existent terms, at least to my knowledge, such as “northpaws” and “starboardsiders,” just for the sheer fun of it!)

    I spent the twelfth summer of my life batting lefty in all but the Babe Ruth League baseball game appearances, the ones that “counted.” I wanted to become a left-handed hitter, or at worst a switch-hitter. It proved to be a failed experiment. I went back to batting exclusively righty the following season.

    I couldn’t bat left at all, couldn’t bat right very well. I was not ambidextrous. If anything, I was ambisinister! My major league dreams began to die that summer. Had I only been born a home-plate-portsider!

    Sure, sure, southpaws suffer when it comes to scissors, spiral notebooks, etc., but they are just so cool, mysterious, bohemian, quirky and eccentrically charming. The flawed folk etymology of “posh” (port out, starboard home) jives with this impression. Portsiders is “out there, fun, wacky” Starboardsiders are “safe at home, stuffy, boring.”

    Just look at those frisky kangaroos and wallabies. I rest my case. All right?

    LegoLambdaWallabyWannabe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Quick riddle:
      What do you call the offspring of a wallaby?
      A wallababy.

      LegooWallaroo

      Delete
    2. And if they are in a city in WA, Walla Walla Wallabies?

      Portsiders huh?

      Delete
    3. Perhaps our left hands/arms are stronger, akin to the wallabies having stronger right paws.

      Lego, did you feel more strength with your left arm vs. your right?

      Delete
    4. Hmmmmmm, Lego, I have a feeling you did not mean to link to that link. . .

      Delete
    5. Hey, Lego, I took your comment down so as not to encourage certain traffic here at PEOTS. . .

      Feel free to repost when you find the Howard Cosell link you were looking for. . .

      Delete
    6. You are correct, Steph. I did not mean to link to that link. I have been experiencing a bit of a security glicth but I believe I may have it under control. I apologize for the mis-link.

      Here is how it should have appeared, in response to your June 24 at 7:33 AM post:

      Strength? What's that?

      Let me put it this way and, as Howard Cosell said, “tell it like it is,” and say that I feel more weakness with my left arm vs. my right, and more weakness with my right arm vs. what other people were feeling with their arms.

      LegoNotTheFirstManOnTheMoon

      Delete
    7. Thanks for the Cosell link, Lego. Glad things are under control now. Do you see a resemblance in facial expressions and mannerisms between Howard Cosell and LBJ?

      Delete
    8. Yes, two guys who seemed not to care what others' opinion was of them. No one else quite like either one.

      Did you notice, at 0:29, the photo of Hward, his wife, and two of Mazie's ancestors?

      LegoBainesLambda

      Delete
    9. I saw those little white dogs. . .but with perky not floppy ears like Maizie. Probably are related though!

      This was posted elsewhere but I found it fascinating to see that POWER in a little package.

      Delete
  2. I'm completely right-hand dominant. Left hand is completely useless for any fine movements. I almost got tossed out of PA school when I revealed that I couldn't independently close my right eye while keeping my left eye open. That's what you're supposed to do when using an ophthalmoscope to examine a patient's left eye. I just use my right eye. They said I'd bump noses that way, but I manage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seems like a silly reason to toss you out of PA school. Glad you are able to use your right eye to take a look. . .

      Can you keep them both open to see in stereo when using a stereoscope?

      Delete
    2. Sure, both open, both closed, no problem. But if just one is open, it's the right.

      Delete
    3. Sure, but just the left one. (-;

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. My plantation?? I do declayah!

      Delete
    2. I have 6500 square feet; you may have much more. No Tara here!

      Delete
    3. Or was that a SOUTHpaw reference?

      Delete
    4. Yes, it was. I suppose I could have gone with "sheep ranch" since we are talking about Australian animals today.

      Delete
    5. That's sheep station, Sheila, uh, Steph.

      Delete
    6. Ah, yes, any sheep stations in your portfolio, ewe PEOTSers?

      Delete
    7. And you may want to see a brigade of podiatrists, with all those square feet of yours.

      Delete
    8. Since we are talking hands and chirality, how about a brigade of chiropodists?! ;-)

      Delete
    9. Do they serve Station Dressing on salads down under?!

      Delete
    10. Steph,
      You have 6500 square feet? I have 6500 left feet.

      LegoLikeSixtyFiveCentipedesThatCan'tDanceALick

      Delete
  4. Burgess Shale / Wonderful Life fans: In case you've been in suspense all these years about which end of Hallucigenia is which, here's the latest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fascinating stuff. What a strange creature. And animals with teeth lined throats--ow! Velvet worms: so smooth! ;-)

      And speaking of taking awhile until publication, did you notice the samples were collected from 1992-2000 and publication was 2015?

      Delete
    2. But that wasn't necessarily publication delay. Might have been how long the samples were laying around in a drawer until a grad student could be enticed to take a look.

      I will be visiting Cambridge on Saturday, but I doubt I'll have time to look this stuff up.

      Delete
    3. That's true. Although, how could one resist all those weird spines and teeth and floppy heads?

      Work conference in Cambridge? Hope it's fun!

      Delete
    4. No, vacation. My son has been visiting at the university for 2 weeks, so he'll show us around. Then we're doing a walking tour of the Cotswolds next week, 50 miles in 4 days. Visiting with sister-in-law in London at either end.

      Delete
    5. Nice! Sounds like a great time. I can see why you might have to pass on Hallucigenia!

      Delete
    6. Yeah, we'll be making a Long March of our own (had to wait till 3pm for that).

      Delete
    7. ;-). Are you bringing walking poles for your Long March?

      Delete
    8. I've never liked using them. My wife was considering taking hers, but is leaning against it (no pun intended). It's not going to be rugged hiking, I think, just walking on paths through fields and along roads. Do you have an opinion on walking sticks?

      Delete
    9. I like them in the mountains, especially on steep trails like Hell's Hole. I have a set of red adjustable ones that live in the back of my Subaru. Where you are walking they may be more of a pain, though.

      Delete
    10. Want my opinion on walking sticks?

      Didn>'t think so.

      Delete
    11. Must be nice to be able to afford letting your imagination run free. Looking forward to it.

      Delete
    12. That TED talk was a walking stick bonanza!! Thanks for sharing.

      Delete
    13. Paul, your imagination seems like it runs pretty free to me.

      Delete
    14. I'll second that notion, Steph.. Great WS link, Paul (that's WalkingStick, not WillShortz), and great TED link, jan.

      I have noticed that the links posted on this educational and entertaining blog tend to be more enlightening than you might find on other blogs/sites... including one with which I am familiar that begins with a P and ends with a!.

      LegoBlogIsOnlyStrongAsItsWeakestLink

      Delete
    15. Tongue most firmly in cheek, Lego? ;-)

      Delete
  5. Zoe's off for Addis Ababa this morning!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. . . .And just arrived at Bole International Airport in Addis!

      Delete
    2. Have a great experience, Zoe!

      Delete
    3. Thanks, jan! How are things on the other side of the pond?

      Delete
    4. Hottest day in 9 years. UK seriously lacking in AC.

      Delete
    5. Stay as cool as you can, jan!

      Delete
  6. New post on "Lemony or Masculine: Olfactory "Fingerprints" (Noseprints?)" is up.

    Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete