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1-min read

Snowball, the Dancing Cockatoo, is Teaching Scientists a Thing Or Two About 80s Dance Moves

The cacatuidae was filmed swinging from side to side and lunging and lifting his feet as it moved to one song after another as "Another One Bites the Dust" and "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," played in the background.

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Updated:July 9, 2019, 5:38 PM IST
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Snowball, the Dancing Cockatoo, is Teaching Scientists a Thing Or Two About 80s Dance Moves
The cacatuidae was filmed swinging from side to side and lunging and lifting his feet as it moved to one song after another as "Another One Bites the Dust" and "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," played in the background.
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Snowball, a dancing cockatoo, may never have had formal dancing lessons, but it did not stop him from showing researchers 14 different moves as he 'danced' to 80s classics.

The cacatuidae was filmed swinging from side to side and lunging and lifting his feet as it moved to one song after another as "Another One Bites the Dust" and "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," played in the background.

Now, according to scientists from the United States, his "remarkably diverse spontaneous movements," show that dancing is not limited to humans but a general response to music when certain conditions are present in the brain.

According to authors of the study, who wrote in the Current Biology magazine, the dancing ability of parrots or cockatoos like Snowball could be that some moves reflect creativity. "This would also be remarkable, as creativity in non-human animals has typically been documented in behaviours aimed at obtaining an immediate physical benefit, such as access to food or mating opportunities," they said, according to a story published in the magazine.

According to researchers, Snowball does not dance for food, instead, his dancing appears to be a social behaviour used to interact with human caregivers.

A YouTube sensation from 2008, scientists revisited the footage after a 2016 study on the evolution of dance inspired them to think about its wider significance.

The researchers suggest that spontaneous dance movements arise when five traits, which parrots share with humans, are present. These include attentiveness to communicative movements, the ability to imitate them and a tendency to form long-term social bonds.

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