Document Detail

"Right-trunkers" and "left-trunkers": side preferences of trunk movements in wild Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  14717638     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
In this article, the side preferences of feeding-related trunk movements of free-ranging Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) were investigated for the first time. It is hypothesized that a functional asymmetry of the trunk is necessary to perform skillful feeding movements more efficiently. This might be connected with a corresponding hemispheric specialization. Video recordings of 41 wild elephants provided frequencies and durations of the following trunk-movement categories: object contact, retrieval, and reaching. In each category, individual side preferences were found. The strength of side preferences varied between the trunk-movement categories and the sexes. Mean durations of retrieval and reaching correlated negatively with the strength of side biases. Comparing the side preferences in the unpaired trunk with analogous phenomena in other unpaired grasping organs and in primate handedness. the authors discuss possible explanations for the evolution of asymmetries in unpaired grasping organs.
Franziska Martin; Carsten Niemitz
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of comparative psychology (Washington, D.C. : 1983)     Volume:  117     ISSN:  0735-7036     ISO Abbreviation:  J Comp Psychol     Publication Date:  2003 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-01-13     Completed Date:  2004-05-04     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8309850     Medline TA:  J Comp Psychol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  371-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Human Biology and Anthropology, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Behavior, Animal
Brain / physiology*
Choice Behavior*
Functional Laterality / physiology*
Videotape Recording

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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