Kangaroos have always fascinated me. They probably fascinate a lot of people. They’re such unique, interesting creatures, and while I am unsure if I will ever have the privilege to come face-to-face with one (not including through a zoo exhibit), I sincerely hope I do after reading an article from The Good News Network.
Through research conducted via the University of Roehampton and the University of Sydney “involving kangaroos—marsupials that were never domesticated—at three locations across Australia … findings revealed that these animals gazed at a human when trying to access food which had been put in a closed box,” the article explains.
It gets better.
“The kangaroos used these long looks to communicate with the person instead of attempting to open the box themselves—a behavior that is usually expected for domesticated animals.
“10 out of 11 kangaroos tested actively looked at the person who had put the food in a box to get it (this type of experiment is known as ‘the unsolvable problem task’).
“Nine of the 11 kangaroos additionally showed gaze alternations between the box and the person present, which is seen as a heightened form of communication.
“The research builds on previous work in the field which has looked at the communication of domesticated animals, such as dogs and goats, and whether intentional communication in animals is a result of domestication.
“Lead author Dr Alan McElligott, University of Roehampton (now based at City University of Hong Kong), previously led a study which found goats can understand human cues, including pointing, to gather information about their environment.
“Like dogs and goats, kangaroos are social animals, and Dr McElligott’s new research suggests they may be able to adapt their usual social behaviors for interacting with humans,” the article says.
If this isn’t the coolest information you’ve read today, please share with me something better.