Scientists have thought that only humans were capable of dance. That was until Snowball the Cockatoo entered the picture. Thanks to You Tube and Snowball, scientists now believe that certain species are in fact able to identify rhythms and beats and move their body accordingly. When examining Snowball, researchers changed the speed of the music to see if Snowball would in fact speed up or slow down his dance moves as the music changed. Sure enough, Snowball did not disappoint. He changed his speed of dancing as the music changed tempos.
One scientist has the theory that the brain of species who can mimic sounds ( e.g parrots) have the neuroanatomy and neurophysiology that allows them to dance. The only other species that scientist think may have this ability at this time is elephants.
Once again, this highlights how too often we underestimate the capabilities of animals. Understanding what different species are capable of is key to maximizing their well-being in captivity/or as pets. Music can be a great environmental enrichment tool for certain parrots.
Please click on the link below to watch Snowball dance to the Backstreet Boys. Even if you are not impressed with what this represents from a neurobiological perspective, the video should certainly put a smile on your face!