Kangaroos can intentionally communicate with humans


Kangaroos can intentionally communicate with humans, new study reveals. The new findings show that they can also ask humans for help just like dogs. For the study, researchers monitored 11 kangaroos at 3 locations across Australia. The kangaroos involved in the study were never domesticated. The kangaroos were presented with a box filled with food that they couldn’t open. They study revealed that kangaroos gaze at a human when trying to access food instead of attempting to open the box themselves. 10 out of 11 kangaroos actively looked at the person who had put the food in a box. 9 of the 11 kangaroos additionally showed gaze alternations. 

This is a more intense form of communication between the box and the person present. The behavior is similar to how domesticated animals would react. The team previously conducted a study that found goats can understand human cues. The include pointing to gather information about their environment. Like goats and dogs, kangaroos are social animal. The adapt their usual social behaviors for interacting with humans. Researchers were able to see that communication between animals can be learned. 

They also found that the behavior of gazing at humans to access food is not related to domestication. Research showed that there is a potential for communication toward humans by animals. The positive results should lead to more cognitive research beyond the usual domestic species. Researchers hope that this research draws attention to the cognitive abilities of kangaroos and helps encourage more positive attitudes towards them. 

Kangaroos are Australian endemic fauna. Endemic species are plants or animals that exist only in one geographic region. They can jump 9 meters (30 feet) in a single bound. They can also travel more than 48 kilometers (30 miles) per hour. Kangaroos travel and feed in groups or “mobs”. When chased by hunters with dogs, kangaroos often jump to the water. Kangaroos have an irregular activity rhythm. They are active at night and during periods of low light but it is quite possible to find them out in the open in bright sunlight.