Winging it: Dancing cockatoo causes scientist to re-evaluate avian intelligence

A DANCING cockatoo has prompted scientists to re-evaluate their opinion on avian intelligence.

Snowball enjoys bobbing his head up and down, stepping from side to side while shaking his body and tapping his feet with impeccable good timing to pop, rock and even salsa music.

The 13-year-old bird has been a YouTube sensation for nearly four years cracking up more than 4.7 million views on his original video dancing to Back Street Boys.

He has other videos where he grooves to Queen, Lady Gaga and salsa tunes. His amazing sense of rhythm has amazed scientists who see this as evidence that humans are not the only creatures with a sense of rhythm. Using scientific measurements of synchronisation researchers proved that the musical beast and Snowball’s dance moves were linked up.

“We have shown that if the music speeds up or slows down across a wide range, he adjusts the tempo of his dancing to stay synchronised to the beat,” said Dr Aniruddh Patel of The Neurosciences Institute in San Diego.

Snowball is the first non-human animal documented to have danced to a synchronised beat.

More than 1,000 video’s of other animals were examined and it was revealed that 14 species of parrot and one species of elephant can move in time to music.

Chimpanzees, dogs and cats appeared to have no sense of rhythm.


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