This Bird Can Bust a Move!
A sulphur-crested cockatoo named Snowball garnered YouTube fame and headlines a decade ago for his uncanny ability to dance to the beat of the Backstreet Boys. Now, researchers reporting in Current Biology on July 8 are back with new evidence that Snowball isn’t limited in his dance moves. Despite a lack of dance training, new videos show that Snowball responds to music with diverse and spontaneous movements using various parts of his body.
The finding is more than an entertaining novelty act. It suggests that dancing to music isn’t an arbitrary product of human culture but a response to music that arises when certain cognitive and neural capacities come together in animal brains, the researchers say.