Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Dancing Cockatoo being studied by science

Our friend, Snowball the Cockatoo has been making news in several science magazines!

It was only a matter of time that someone would want to "prove" that he was just a bird and only "copying" what he had learned by watching a human dance... Hmmm, well, thankfully, science is "proving" the bird brain theory WRONG!

Will Snowball join Alex in the halls of history?

Discover Magazine wrote:

Perhaps you’ve seen the YouTube video, shown below, of Snowball the cockatoo bobbing its head and kicking its legs in time with Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust.” Nature reports that some scientists have seen it, too, and they say it could be more than a neat trick. If Snowball really feels the beat, the researchers say, that could help show them whether there’s a biological basis for rhythm perception.

At first, Aniruddh Patel of the Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla, California, and his colleagues had doubts. Snowball’s owners say they actually would dance off-camera while filming the bird to encourage it to bust a move. If Snowball were just a copycat, Patel says, that wouldn’t be nearly as impressive as if he could dance on his own. So to figure out whether the bird could actually feel the rhythm, they traveled to Snowball’s home in Indiana and videoed the bird dancing to music with different tempos.

Click HERE for more of the whole story!

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