Snowball the cockatoo got Internet famous in the late 2000s once a video of that dancing come the win of the Backstreet boys went viral.

You are watching: Dancing parrot another one bites the dust

Aniruddh Patel, that is now a psychology professor at Tufts University, to be astonished when he witnessed the video on YouTube a te ago. "I said, friend know, this is much an ext than simply a cute pets trick. This is potentially scientifically very important," that told elafilador.net in 2009.

Now Patel and his colleagues have discovered that Snowball busts at least 14 various dance moves. Your findings were published this mainly in current Biology.

R. Yone Jao Keehn, a dancer and cognitive neuroscientist at san Diego State University, is lead writer of the paper. She analyzed videos that Snowball dancing to Queen"s "Another One Bites the Dust" and also "Girls simply Want to have actually Fun" by Cyndi Lauper. The researchers uncovered that the cockatoo"s repertoire has headbanging, body rolls and vogueing.

Patel, who research studies music and also the brain and is a co-author of the paper, states that he and also his colleagues to be impressed by the diversity the Snowball"s movements. "We"ve displayed previously the he might synchronize come the win of music," stepping his feet and bobbing his head gradually to music, Patel says. But foot lifting and head bobs are typical parrot behaviors, used to relocate around and also woo various other parrots.


The new file documents that Snowball taught himself a diverse set of dance moves. It"s a finding that supports the idea that "dancing is not simply purely a product of human cultural invention. It"s a an answer to music that arises when certain cognitive and also neural capacities come together in an pet brain," says Patel.


"Snowball has been vital case examine in music cognition," Adena Schachner, a cognitive breakthrough researcher at the college of California, san Diego, that has operated with Snowball in the past but was no affiliated with this paper, created in an email. "He pushes the boundaries of our ideas in pet musicality, convincing us that non-human pets can be capable of very human-like dance behavior." Schachner says that Snowball represents one well-documented instance of habits that extends across other parrots.

Based on their research, the study authors suggest five key underlying properties in animals that might permit them come dance. Patel defines them as "complex vocal learning, the ability to imitate movements, the capacity to learn facility sequences that movements, attention to communicative gestures and also the tendency to form long-term social bonds," i beg your pardon parrots can kind with other parrots and also with humans.

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The research authors" evaluation of Snowball is based upon dance videos caught in 2008. Snowball, now in his beforehand 20s, is alive and also dancing. He resides in a bird shelter in Indiana through his owner, Irena Schulz, a co-author that the paper. With a life expectancy upward the 50 years, he has actually a couple of smooth golden oldies decades to come.