Blue whales were the «right-handed», say scientists

© Fotolia / JamesteohartКитBlue whales were the «right-handed», say scientists© Fotolia / Jamesteohart

. Unusual observing the behavior of blue whales revealed that these sea giants are «right-handed» in almost all situations, except while hunting on plankton in shallow waters, according to a paper published in the journal Current Biology.

«We assume that the strange «left-handedness» of whales associated with the left turn helps them to view the right eye on krill or other crustaceans, which they’re trying to catch, surfacing from the depths and making it a «barrel». If they turned right, then they would no longer see the crustaceans that would reduce the probability of catching prey,» says Ari Friedlander (Ari Friedlaender) from the University of California, Santa Cruz (USA).

Today, many ordinary people and scientists believe that the left and right hemisphere of the brain suited to solving different tasks – his right half is responsible for the «mathematics» and logical thinking, and the left for verbal, writing and creativity.

In addition to the separation of functions, the hemispheres also differ in the degree of its influence on the whole brain and body as a whole. The external manifestation of the dominance of one of the halves of the brain is the right-and left – handedness in the first case «major» is left brain, the second right. Similarly, right-handed people have more trust in his right eye, and left-hander left.

Before the development of right — and left-handedness was considered by anthropologists as one of the key features of a human and a sign of mastering of speech and other complex skills that are unique to our species. On the other hand, in recent years, scientists have begun to talk about that some other types of mammals, for example kangaroos and chimpanzees, also use mostly one hand for the production of food or other tasks that has generated a new debate about the evolutionary significance of this particular individual.

Friedlander and his colleagues found that blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) in this respect is very similar to human – they have too, there is a peculiar form of left-handedness and pravorulki, and virtually all of them is «right-handed».

Scientists came to this conclusion by observing the behavior and hunting six dozen blue whales living in the North Atlantic, to the backs of which they attached a set of cameras and gyroscopes, which allowed marine scientists to monitor the movements of these marine giants in their natural habitat.

These observations showed that in fact all whales prefer to spin and turn to the right while driving on the sea and hunt for krill and other zooplankton, which makes them «right-handed». On the other hand, these same animals, even the most «right-handed» of them, suddenly became «left-handed» during one particular maneuver associated with the hunting of small concentrations of crustaceans in the shallows and near the surface of the water.

When Keith sees this «cloud» of zooplankton, he makes a dive at a sufficiently great depth and begins to float up sharply, «aiming» at the gathering of krill. During this maneuver the animal turns to the left side and then turns back, making a circular motion, similar to aviation barrel roll, trying to capture the maximum number of crustaceans.

Scientists believe that a temporary transformation into a «Lefty» helps the whales to save energy during the hunt for similar aggregations of krill and eat almost the entire zooplankton in one sitting, reducing the likelihood that the animal will «miss» during the ascent.

Such selective forms of left-handedness and pravorulki, according to Friedlander, had never been discovered among mammals and whales are their unique media. Their study, as I hope the oceanographers to understand how did the phenomenon of the dominant hemisphere and why some animals such as kangaroo, are «left-handed» and not right-handed like humans, apes and whales.