Australian and British researchers have noticed an interesting feature of the kangaroo. It turned out that marsupials can communicate with people in the same way as dogs do.
We often think that animals understand us when we talk to them, that they listen and may even experience emotions. New research suggests that sometimes our feelings are correct.
Scientists studied 11 kangaroos that lived in captivity in the reserve, but were not domesticated. During the experiment, the animals were offered food in plastic containers several times. The first few times, the marsupials were able to independently get food from the case, but during the last test, the container was closed so that the animals could not open it. Since the kangaroos already knew there was food in the cases, they were highly motivated to get it. 10 out of 11 observed animals eventually came to people for help.
They stared at the researchers when they were unable to open the food case. 9 kangaroos looked at the box, shifting their gaze first towards the person, then towards the box. The authors of the work note that this method of communication has already been documented in domesticated animals such as dogs, horses and even goats.
“We interpreted this as a deliberate form of communication, asking for help,” Alan McElligott, the researcher who led the work, told Reuters in an interview with Reuters. “Wild species really don’t have to behave like these kangaroos, which is amazing.”
The findings contradict the conventional wisdom that only domesticated animals communicate with humans, and suggest that many more animals can consciously communicate with humans.