Can a dancing bird teach us about how brains work?

Back in 2007, 12 years ago if anyone’s counting, a cockatoo called Snowball had a video that went viral where he was dancing to a Back Street Boys song.  Now Snowball is in his 20’s and still evolving dance-wise, having come up with quite a few new moves.

He caught the attention of researchers even back then.  Apparently, “spontaneous movement to music” is not the norm in the animal kingdom.  Humans do it, and certain birds.  Not even monkeys do it!  The birds that can dance are ones that pay a lot of attention to sound, such as parrots.  That’s how they learn to speak phrases, and I guess they’re so good at processing sounds that they can sometimes translate them into movin’ that bod.  And the researchers are saying that Snowball taught himself the moves!

The research is published in the scientific journal Current Biology.

Now this just occurred to me — bats are known for using sound a lot and I’ve never heard of a dancing bat.  I can’t believe I just debunked their research!  They better get back to the drawing board.