Cancer schmancer, scientists at the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego have finally solved the age-old question that has eluded science for centuries: can birds dance?
Cats, dogs, and lab monkeys spend lots of time around human music. But no animal had ever been confirmed as moving to a beat—leading to the common belief that animals ain't got rhythm.
For one of two new studies on animal dancing, Aniruddh Patel at the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego and colleagues worked with Snowball the parrot, which seems to love "dancing" to the likes of Queen and Backstreet Boys.
To test whether the sulphur-crested cockatoo was really keeping a beat, the scientists would change the music's tempo—represented in these videos as "BPM" (beats per minute).
Not one to miss a beat, Snowball quickly picked up the new rhythms, stomping and head-bobbing in time. "We were surprised by the degree Snowball could adjust his tempo," Patel said.