Welcome to the all-new Vetlearn

  • Vetlearn is becoming part of NAVC VetFolio.
    Starting in January 2015, Compendium and
    Veterinary Technician articles will be available on
    NAVC VetFolio. VetFolio subscribers will have
    access to not only the journals, but also:
  • Over 500 hours of CE
  • Community forums to discuss tough cases
    and networking with your peers
  • Three years of select NAVC Conference
    Proceedings
  • Free webinars for the entire healthcare team

To access Vetlearn, you must first sign in or register.

registernow

  Sign up now for:
Become a Member

Reference Desk March 2013

Boys are Right-handed, Girls are Left...

    March 6, 2013 — Well at least this is true for sugar gliders (Petaurus breviceps) and grey short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica), finds an article in BioMed Central’s open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology, and shows that handedness in marsupials is dependent on gender. This preference of one hand over another has developed despite the absence of a corpus collosum, 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.”

    Source: BioMed Central

    didyouknow

    Did you know... For years, biologists have been amazed by the power of gecko feet, which let these 5-ounce lizards produce an adhesive force roughly equivalent to carrying nine pounds up a wall without slipping.Read More

    Stay on top of all our latest content — sign up for the Vetlearn newsletters.
    • More
    Subscribe