It’s not every day when an old dog teaches itself some new tricks. And this story doesn’t feature a dog – but it does center around another, quite amazing animal. When you meet Snowball, the cockatoo, you’ll be just as amazed as all the researchers who stood in awe as they watched the bird teach himself 14 different dance moves to his favorite songs including “Another One Bites the Dust.”
Although no one taught the bird how to dance, Snowball created his own choreography and responses to his favorite songs. Not scientists from the United States believe they have enough evidence to prove that humans are not the only ones who move their body to music. As Snowball the cockatoo proves, other creatures can also feel the music and move their body in time to it, in their own unique ways.
Snowball, the cockatoo, first became famous when a video of him appeared on YouTube. That was more than a decade ago, and now scientists are using Snowball to study dancing in animals, and they’re getting quite far in their research.
No one ever taught the bird how to dance. Nevertheless, he knows exactly what to do to move his body to the music. And as he sat before scientists, he proceeded to floor them with fourteen different dance moves that he choreographed to his favorite hits from the 1980s.
Snowball is a Sulphur-crested cockatoo. In the video, he is filmed as he swings his body from side-to-side and then lunges his legs to lit his foot as he grooves along with the popular songs. The songs that he appears to love the most are Another One Bites the Dust and Girls Just Want to Have Fun.
“Another One” is one of the biggest hits from the rock band Queen. Meanwhile, Cindi Lauper released Girls Just Want to Have Fun to great appeal and success in 1983. Because he produces a diverse range of motions when the music comes on, it is clear to scientists that he knows what he is doing – and what he is doing is moving to the music.
Research scientists from places including the University of California, San Diego, believe that Snowball is exhibiting “remarkably diverse spontaneous movements” that prove that humans are not the only ones who can dance. This cockatoo certainly can as well – as some mammals probably can too.
Snowball was hatched back in 1996. His second owner gave him over to the Bird Lovers Only shelter in Schererville, Indiana in 2007. Shelter manager Irena Schultz then learned about Snowball’s amazing abilities. At the time, his family had seen him dancing to “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” by the Backstreet Boys.
Schultz recorded Snowball dancing and shared it on the internet, where it quickly went viral.
In the study published in Current Biologists, the research authors wrote, “Another possibility is that some moves may reflect creativity. This would also be remarkable, as creativity in non-human animals has typically been documented in behaviors aimed at obtaining an immediate physical benefit, such as access to food or mating opportunities.”
Snowball proves that animals just like to have fun and dance too.
Every time you share an AWM story, you help build a home for a disabled veteran.