Friday, July 24, 2009

Birds Can Dance

Sooo I am having another moment where I am missing Emmie (My Quaker Parrot)... I ran across this story and thought it was absolutely ADORABLE :)

A head-banging parrot who became a YouTube sensation has demonstrated that an ability to appreciate music and keep a rhythm is not unique to humans, scientists say.

Alex, an African grey parrot, was one of 14 birds which displayed an ability to keep time with a tune.

Snowball the cockatoo, who appears to bop his head, tap his claws and squawk enthusiastically to the Back Street Boys' "Everybody" is one of several birds apparently capable of dancing to a beat, according to two studies published in the latest edition of the journal Current Biology.

In a study lead by Adena Schachner of Harvard University, researchers examined more than 1,000 YouTube videos of dancing animals and found 14 types of parrot species and one elephant genuinely capable of keeping time.

The video of Snowball has been viewed more than two million times since it was posted in 2007. Another video of Snowball shows him dancing to Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust."
Video of Bird Dancing

Scientists had previously thought that "moving to a musical beat might be a uniquely human ability because animals are not commonly seen moving rhythmically in the wild," Patel said.

That leads researchers to believe that an ability to process musical sounds may be linked to an ability to mimic sounds -- something that each of the parrots studied by researchers was able to do excellently, she said.

Other "vocal-learning species" include dolphins, elephants, seals and walruses.


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