JAN 19, 2017 9:24 AM PST

Are a Majority of Tarantulas Right-Handed?

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Chances are, you’re either left or right handed, unless you have a third hand no one knows about. On the other hand, it was once thought that humans were the only species that were capable or handedness, or the preference to favor or use one hand over another.

Despite this common belief among scientists, more evidence is surfacing that suggests animals too can have handedness characteristics, and thanks to a study published in the Journal of Zoology, we might know this to be true about tarantulas as well.

Are tarantula's right-handed like a vast majority of humans are?

Image Credit: Szeeze/Pixabay

The authors are said to have placed a number of these spiders into a T-shaped maze where they were forced to choose between turning left or right at the cross-section of the T.

Interestingly, the authors used an antiquated lure tactic: food. After all, what kind of animal is going to resist a tasty snack? Tarantulas have a particularly keen taste for cockroaches.

The catch, however, is that the authors put five of these creepy-crawlies at the end of each chamber in the T, which means no matter which way the tarantulas went, they would still end up with the same reward.

Regardless, the critters all chose to turn right at the end of the T repeatedly. The same activity was reportedly noted when the team placed female tarantulas at the ends of the maze instead of cockroaches.

This pattern of repeatedly choosing the right over the left suggests a favoring for putting the right side first. It’s a similar quality seen in right-handed humans when a preference can be made.

Because both sides were balanced in terms of rewards, it was clearly a mental choice of the spiders to go with their natural instinct, and that led them to the right so many times.

While it doesn’t necessarily prove that siders are “right-handed,” per-se, it does show that like many other animals, choosing right over left is favorable. It seems this may not just be a humanly trait after all.

Source: National Geographic

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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