The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Is Your Pet Left Handed or Right Handed?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Is Your Pet Left Handed or Right Handed?


Cats, dogs, parrots and even fish are right or left-handed, scientists have revealed.

The discovery was made by psychologists from Queen's University Belfast, who as part of their research played with 42 pet cats for weeks on end.


Dogs are the same - until they are spayed or neutered, when the difference disappears, suggesting hormones play a role in left or right-handedness. They found that females are 'right-handed' while toms favor the left.


Paw preference: Female dogs favor their right front paw and males choose their left, according to the study.

The scientists also reported that parrots will pick up objects with their 'dominant' foot, toads are mostly right-handed and fish will have a preference to left or right when they dodge a predator - and even humpback whales prefer the right side of their jaws when feeding.

Dogs wag their tails to the right when relaxed and to the left when agitated, this week's New Scientist reports.

The experts said: 'Male and female cats differ in their behavioral patterns, for example hunting styles and parental care, and it is possible that these place different demands on motor functioning.'


Female felines use their right paw while toms tend to use their left

Dr Culum Brown, a behavioral ecologist, said they also tested the theory with parrots: "Anything they are interested in they will pick up with their dominant foot".
Curiously, those parrots that favor their left or right rather than liking both equally, have been shown to be brainier.

With goldfish, the way they dodge predators is likely to allow them to use a specific eye and side of the brain to deal with the threat.

To test it out, place an unfamiliar object in the center of your fish tank and watch which way your pet swims round it.

Toads, however, prefer their right, and pounce more quickly on morsels of food that enter their line of vision from their right.

Humpback whales prefer to use the right side of their jaws to scrape up sand eels from the ocean floor.

While there are advantages in following the crowd, it can also be good to be different. For instance, those humans or animals that are left-handed, or pawed, in a right-handed world, have the surprise on their side when they launch an attack.


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