Doing it right

Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

Scientists from the Universities of Udine and Padova in Italy, and the University of New England in New South Wales, Australia, have observed a rather interesting habit among the European variety of toads called Bufo bufo and South American cane toads: they prefer the use of their right forelimbs. When a plastic balloon was wrapped around their heads, 60 per cent of them used their right paws to remove it and 55 per cent used the same for removing a paper strip stuck to their Doses. When positioned belly-up in water, the toads used their right arm to roll themselves into an upright position. The study is significant because it shows that handedness and the accompanying changes in the brain occurred very early in the evolution of vertebrates.

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