Essential Science: Animal magic, kangaroos can ‘talk’ to us

Essential Science: Animal magic, kangaroos can 'talk' to us
Essential Science: Animal magic, kangaroos can 'talk' to us

Challenging the notion that only certain domesticated animals can engage in communication with each other and, to and extent, with humans, new research finds that it is not only dogs and horses that have the ability to visually ‘talk’, kangaroos do too.

What is of interest with the new study is not only with kangaroos specifically, but with non-domesticated animals. This signals that it is not domestication alone that creates the verbal and physical cues required for communication between humans and other animals. The level of sophistication expressed by the kangaroo is at a level equivalent to cats, dogs, horses and goats. By communication, this refers to visual signs to signal intent.

The research centered on a joint project between the University of Roehampton and the University of Sydney and it involved extensive study of marsupials that have never been domesticated. The 12 western grey, 2 eastern grey, and 2 red kangaroos were studied at three different locations within Australia: Australian Reptile Park, Wildlife Sydney Zoo, and Kangaroo Protection Co-operative.

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Anna Paul

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