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AstroChuck's avatar

Are animals left " handed" or right "handed" as people are?

Asked by AstroChuck (37461points) May 29th, 2008 from iPhone

While watching two of my cats duking it out it appeared that they were favoring their left paws. This got me to thinking are cats mostly southpaws as I am, or is the concept of left or right pawed not present. What about dogs and other animals?

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7 Answers

El_Cadejo's avatar

I dont know about dogs, but ive noticed a lot of marine invertebrates that tend to favor one claw or appendage over the other. My mantis shrimp always attacks with his right raptorial claw first.

Randy's avatar

That thing is creeeepy! Yikes!

brownlemur's avatar

Good question. One of my students recently did a paper on this in primates, and found that the few studies that look at handedness examine it only on a population level. So certain individuals in a given population may be left- or right-handed, but evolutionarily speaking it is not adaptive or significant unless there is a trend on the level of the whole population. So far, the only other animals besides primates I know of in which handedness has been tested are parrots.

mcbealer's avatar

I have a Southpaw Weimaraner and a Rightpaw Mutt.

FiRE_MaN's avatar

yes, elephants are usually left or right “handed.” you can easily tell in males because one trunk is usually shorter then the other. Which ever side is shorter is the side they use the most.

mac316's avatar

@fire man, I hope that the word “tusk” should be there instead of trunk!! Never saw a two trunk elephant. ;-)

kevbo's avatar

@Astrochuck, perhaps they are still right handed and just leading with the jab?

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