Courtesy aaardvaarkI’m fully aware that I’m not the greatest dancer, but when a cockatoo named Snowball has more rhythm than I do? Well that’s just embarrassing.
Since his YouTube debut in 2007, Snowball has raked up quite a few fans with his dancing abilities. But Aniruddh Patel, a scientist at The Neurosciences Institute in San Diego, might be his biggest admirer. Patel proposed in 2006 that brain circuitry for the ability to mimic sounds also has a music connection, and after seeing Snowball bust a move on YouTube, he needed to check it out for himself.
In Patel's studies, music was sped up or slowed down to create a range of tempos for Snowball to dance to. They found that to stay on beat, the cockatoo would adjust the tempo of his dancing. He drifted in and out of the beat, much like a child dancing, but analysis of his head bobs prove that they were in fact related to the tempo.
More research has been done showing evidence that 14 other species of parrot and one species of elephant have the ability to follow a musical beat. Can you imagine seeing an elephant pop, lock and drop it? Or how about a Parakeet do the cha-cha slide?
Though there are theories, it is still unknown why people dance. But by continuing the study on dancing birds like Snowball, one day we might discover the science of dance.
Check out the video here to see Snowball get his groove on to “Everybody” by the ever-so-popular Backstreet Boys.