Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Handedness in marsupials is dependent on gender, research shows

Date:
March 6, 2013
Source:
BioMed Central Limited
Summary:
Boys are right-handed, girls are left ... Well at least this is true for sugar gliders (Petaurus breviceps) and grey short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica). New research shows that handedness in marsupials is dependent on gender. This preference of one hand over another has developed despite the absence of a corpus callosum, the part of the brain which in placental mammals allows one half of the brain to communicate with the other.

Sugar glider.
Credit: Image courtesy of BioMed Central Limited

Boys are right-handed, girls are left ... Well at least this is true for sugar gliders (Petaurus breviceps) and grey short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica), according to an article in BioMed Central’s open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology that shows that handedness in marsupials is dependent on gender. This preference of one hand over another has developed despite the absence of a corpus callosum, the part of the brain which in placental mammals allows one half of the brain to communicate with the other.

Many animals show a distinct preference for using one hand/paw/hoof over another. This is often related to posture – an animal is more likely to show manual laterality if it is upright, related to the difficulty of the task, more complex tasks show a handed preference, or even with age. As an example of all three: crawling human babies show less hand preference than toddlers.

Some species also show a distinct sex effect in handedness but among non-marsupial mammals this tendency is for left-handed males and right-handed females. In contrast researchers from St Petersburg State University show that male quadruped marsupials, such as who walk on all fours, tend to be right-handed while the females are left-handed, especially as tasks became more difficult.

Dr Yegor Malashichev from Saint Petersburg State University who led this study explained why they think this has evolved, “Marsupials do not have a corpus callosum – which connects the two halves of the mammalian brain together. Reversed sex related handedness is an indication of how the marsupial brain has developed different ways of the two halves of the brain communicating in the absence of the corpus callosum.”

Related Articles



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BioMed Central Limited. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Andrey Giljov, Karina Karenina, Yegor Malashichev. Forelimb preferences in quadrupedal marsupials and there implications for laterality evolution in mammals. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 2013; 13 (1): 61 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2148-13-61

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central Limited. "Handedness in marsupials is dependent on gender, research shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130305200312.htm>.
BioMed Central Limited. (2013, March 6). Handedness in marsupials is dependent on gender, research shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130305200312.htm
BioMed Central Limited. "Handedness in marsupials is dependent on gender, research shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130305200312.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Studying Effects of Music on Dementia Patients

Studying Effects of Music on Dementia Patients

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is studying the popular Music and Memory program to see if music, which helps improve the mood of Alzheimer's patients, can also reduce the use of prescription drugs for those suffering from dementia. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

AP (Oct. 28, 2014) Moms and Dads get a more hands-on approach to parenting with tech-centric products for raising their little ones. (Oct. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Newsy (Oct. 27, 2014) Researchers have come up with another reason why dark chocolate is good for your health. A substance in the treat can reportedly help with memory. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

AFP (Oct. 27, 2014) Coding has become compulsory for children as young as five in schools across the UK. Making it the first major world economy to overhaul its IT teaching and put programming at its core. Duration: 02:19 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins