They filmed the 12-year-old parrot dancing to two classic '80s hits: "Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen and "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" by Cyndi Lauper.
Soon after that, Snowball's owner, Irena Schulz, a co-author on the paper, noticed Snowball was busting some new moves. Snowball's skills included a body roll, head bobs, foot lifts, head banging and a move reminiscent of Madonna's '90s Vogue dance craze. In effect, the discovery indicates that spontaneous dance isn't a human invention, but rather something that occurs when certain cognitive and neural capacities align in animal brains, the researchers said.
Bobbing his head and tapping his feet, Snowball wouldn't look out of place on any wedding dance floor.
The ability to learn a complex sequence of actions. Unlike cats, dogs and monkeys, which are born with innate sounds, vocal learners such as parrots, dolphins and elephants, can learn an array of sounds based on what they hear in the environment. To him, researchers believe, it is a social way to bond with his owner. Dolphins are a good contender, but Patel is not overly optimistic.
Researchers revisited the footage after a 2016 study on the evolution of dance inspired them to think about its wider significance.
Apple brings True Tone to MacBook Air, faster chips to MacBook Pro
Since then, Apple has explored other screen sizes, going all the way up to 12.9 inches for the latest iPad Pro model. This is a great addition to the MacBook Air after a Retina display was finally added in its previous refresh .
Ross Perot, 1990s Presidential Candidate and SNL Target, Dead at 89
Perot was diagnosed with leukemia in February and received a secondary infection in March that his family said almost killed him. He would eventually be honored for this activism, receiving an award from then-Secretary of Veteran Affairs James Peake in 2009.
Turkish Lira Opens Sharply Lower After Sacking of Central Bank's Chief
A row over interest rate cuts is understood to have triggered the removal of Murat Cetinkaya on Saturday . Lower interest rates tend to weaken a currency but boost economic growth and inflation.
Carel ten Cate, Professor of Animal Behavior at the Institute of Biology Leiden, Leiden University, who was not involved in the research, asked whether Schulz's verbal encouragement was given at moments that Snowball happened to make random movements, and might have unwittingly reinforced that move.
The inspiration for the study began with the pet bird Snowball, a sulphur-crested cockatoo (Cacatua galerita eleonora) whose hilarious dance moves went viral on YouTube a decade ago, as he shimmied to the Backstreet Boys. Patel and team suspect Snowball's dancing has a social underpinning. They played the songs three times. Joanne Jao Keehn, a cognitive neuroscientist and trained dancer on the team, then used frame-by-frame analysis to note all the moves he made. At the time, Snowball had only previously danced to the songs with his owner.
"He has this incredible repertoire. His movements to music are amazingly diverse", Patel told The Guardian. That was notable in part because dancing is a natural ability in humans that's absent in other primates. "He seemed to be trying out all these moves, so synchronisation perhaps wasn't his initial concern".
Snowball seems to be showing that cutting a rug and getting creative with it isn't just for people. "It's possible he learned some of it from his human owners, but even that is impressive as it means he would have worked out the functional equivalence of, for example, wings and arms", Heinsohn told Live Science in an email.
She added that, cognitively, moving from imitation to creativity wasn't that hard.