Say what? New study finds kangaroos can 'talk' to humans

Cheryl Santa Maria
·1 min read
Say what? New study finds kangaroos can 'talk' to humans
Say what? New study finds kangaroos can 'talk' to humans
Say what? New study finds kangaroos can 'talk' to humans

Your pet has probably found ways to let you know when it's hungry or wants to go outside.

It's a common trait that domesticated animals have, and it isn't reserved for house-bound animals: Domesticated farm animals like horses and goats also use cues to communicate with humans.

Now, a new study has found animals that have never lived in close contact with humans can 'talk' to us as well.

In the study, researchers at the University of Roehampton and the University of Sydney placed food in a closed box in front of kangaroos.

pexels - kangaroo - ethan brooke
pexels - kangaroo - ethan brooke

"Hi there." File photo courtesy: Pexels/Ethan Brooke.

Ten out of 11 kangaroos involved "actively looked at the person" who had placed the food in the box as a 'cue' for them to open it, the researchers said in a statement.

Nine of the kangaroos alternated their gaze between the box and the human, a gesture the scientists call a "heightened form of communication."

The study was an extension of previous work that set out to determine if intentional communication in animals is a result of domestication, the authors say.

"Kangaroos are iconic Australian endemic fauna, adored by many worldwide but also considered as a pest," Dr. Alexandra Green of the School of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Sydney, said.

"We hope that this research draws attention to the cognitive abilities of kangaroos and helps foster more positive attitudes towards them."

The full paper is available in the journal Biology Letters.