Keeping the Beat

“Snowball’s public debut also caught the attention of two scientists at the Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla, Calif. John Iversen and Aniruddh Patel were interested in the evolutionary origins and neuroscience of rhythm and music. At the time, there was no documented evidence that nonhuman animals could dance — or, in more scientific terms, that they could “entrain” their movements to an external beat. “We saw this video, and it really knocked us out — it was the first time we had ever seen this,” Iversen said. “As scientists, you love these kinds of moments.”’

“Iversen and Patel tested Snowball in controlled experiments, altering the tempos of his favorite songs and observing how he responded without any training or encouragement. Snowball danced in bouts, rather than continuously, but frame-by-frame video analysis confirmed that he adapted his movements to the match the altered beats. Soon after, other studies by separate research teams showed that numerous species of parrots could entrain to a beat, as could elephants. Monkeys, on the other hand, did not display much rhythmic talent in the lab.”

Snowball (TM) is a Medium Sulphur Crested Eleanora Cockatoo that dances to the Back Street Boys and other songs that he rates as having a “very good beat.” He came to Bird Lovers Only Rescue Service, Inc. (a 501c3 not for profit bird rescue and sanctuary) in August 2007 and continues to make us laugh with his fancy footwork. We are currently raising funds to build a bird habitat for Snowball and other birds like him.”

"She has too much time on her hands . . ."
“Unlike other ANIMALS we  dance only in A-list private labs”

Click here to read the entire article Beasts that Keep the Beat and watch a seal “keep the beat”.

10 thoughts on “Keeping the Beat

  1. Pretty amazing bird. I had a pet cockatiel that loved to sit in the middle of our kids’ board games and no amount of gentle prodding could get Prince Merlin to move off the board. He knew where the attention was and he wanted it for himself. So the kids learned to play around him.

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  2. Easy to anthropomorphise (sp?) to actual dancing. Snowball’s “bow” at the end is perfect. Another example of the joy our animal cohabitants express in their selves and to us.

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  3. Snowball’s “bows” at the end were perfect. Hard not to anthropomorphise (sp?) this into actual dancing. There is joy in, and from many of our animal co-habitants.

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