You think you can dance? So does this cockatoo!
A dance sensation has taken YouTube by storm, and it’s not human. Snowball, the sulphur-crested cockatoo broke big on YouTube in 2007 for his toe-tapping, head-bobbing performance to the Backstreet Boys’ “Everybody.” And is back in news because scientists think parrots and humans share the tendency to gyrate to music.
The issue of Current Biology says that spontaneous movement to music occurs in every human culture and is a foundation of dance.
Such movement occurs in parrots, perhaps because they (like humans, and unlike monkeys) are vocal learners whose brains contain strong auditory-motor connections, which gives sophisticated processing abilities.
Snowball moves spontaneously to music with a good beat and has expressed distinct dance moves, including headbangs, foot-lifts, shimmies and body rolls.
After “Everybody”, Snowball has boogied to songs such as Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” and Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust.”
Analysis of the videos revealed that Snowball had a diverse repertoire of 14 dance movements and two composite movements. Enough said, now it’s time to enjoy his moves.
The lifespan of a cockatoo is up to 60 years or longer, depending upon the species. The oldest cockatoo in captivity was a Major Mitchell’s cockatoo named “Cookie”, residing at Brookfield Zoo in Chicago, which lived to be 83 years old (1933–2016).