Thu, 17 Aug 95 09:41:04 EST
Reasons for the importance of conducting a survey into
the handedness of parrots was not given in my original
posting as the full project proposal is six pages in
length (and available to anyone upon request). However,
I will give a very short summary below.
Historically handedness was assumed to be an entirely
human trait, setting us appart from other animals.
Early research into non-human handedness concentrated
on the primates in the belief that, as these were most
closely related to humans they would be more likely to
exhibit handedness. It was not until much later, however,
that some researchers noted that some parrots appear to
also exhibit handedness. The problem with this research
is that it is based on an extremely small sample of very
few species, mostly in captivity. For a true scientific
study many more observations need to be made of BOTH
captive and wild birds.
Physiologists are particularly interested in the issue
of handedness in non-humans and how it relates to limb
use in humans.
I hope this has answered some of the questions you may
have. Feel free to request the full project proposal.
(On behalf of the Victorian Ornithological Research Group)
P.S. The Victorian Ornithological Research Group has
just produced a new publication "The Gang-gang Cockatoo
In Field and In Aviary". It is an extremely comprehensive
survey of the literature and personal observations on
this most interesting of Australian Cockatoos. There
are over 390 references and 192 pages. It is available
for just $19.95 + postage and handling. If you are interested
or require futher information, email me at the above
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