Most Dolphins Like Humans Are Right-handed: Research

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According to recent research, most bottlenose Dolphins, like humans, have a dominant right-handed side when it comes to foraging for food on the seabed.

Written By Bhavya Sukheja | Mumbai | Updated On:
Most Dolphins

According to recent research, most bottlenose Dolphins, like humans, have a dominant right-handed side when it comes to foraging for food on the seabed. The scientists studying the dolphins reportedly said that the preference of the dolphins show up in crater feeding, whereby the dolphins swim close to the ocean floor, echolocating for prey, before shoving their beaks into the sand to snaffle a meal. The researchers further added that the animals make a sharp and sudden turn before digging in with their beaks. 

The researchers while talking to an international outlet said that the findings indicate a right-side bias since a left turn keeps a dolphin's right eye and right side close to the ocean floor. They further added that the scientists found only four turns were made to the right and all of these were made by the same dolphin. The researchers captured approximately 10 hours of video footage between 2012 and 2018 as the dolphins swam near the seabed and scanned for eels and fish in the sand through echolocation and before thrusting their snout, or rostrum, into the sand to seize their prey, the dolphins quickly paused by making a rapid 90 to 180 degree turn. 

Accoring to research published in the official site the researchers said, “It remains unclear if the malformed right pectoral fin of this individual or other factors may underlie this deviation from the common bias, particularly given that another individual also has a malformed right pectoral fin, and a third individual has no right pectoral fin, yet both still exhibited right-side bias.”

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Reason not examined

The researched have suggested a number of possible reasons behind the lastest finding, however, the study did not examine the reason for this behaviour. The researchers believe that because of the overwhelming right-side bias it was unlikely related to brain function. One possible reason that the scientists believe could be the location of the 'phonic lips' dolphins use to make the clicking sounds that help them locate their prey. One of the researchers reportedly also pointed out that the Ganges river dolphin, which is practically blind and relies heavily on echolocation almost always swim right-side down when they are echolocating. 

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