WCS 3-Sentence Science
Are Penguins Righties or Lefties?
June 6, 2019
Each year, Wildlife Conservation Society scientists publish more than 300 peer-reviewed studies and papers. “WCS 3-Sentence Science” is a regular tip-sheet — in bite sized helpings — of some of this published work.
Here we present the work by WCS conservationist Dee Boersma on handedness in Magellanic penguins:
- Researchers in Punta Tombo, Argentina conducted a study to see whether Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus) showed lateralization (handedness) in their behaviors or morphology.
- They found no lateralization or mixed results in the population of Magellanic penguins in three individual behaviors: stepping up, swimming, and thermoregulation.
- They did find lateralization when penguins fought for dominance with the more aggressive penguin using its left eye and attacking the other penguin’s right side in most fights.
Study and Journal: “Lateralization (handedness) in Magellanic penguins” from PeerJ 7 WCS Co-Author(s): Dee Boersma , WCS Magellanic Penguin Project
For more information, contact: Stephen Sautner, 718–220–3682, firstname.lastname@example.org.