Science Proves Bird Has Better Rhythm Than Most White Guys

Thursday, Jul 30, 2009  |  Updated 1:44 PM CDT
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Science Proves Bird Has Better Rhythm Than Most White Guys

Snowball rocks his body.

From the first time Irena Schulz hit "play" and watched her pet bird groove to a "Backstreet Boys" song, she knew he had natural rhythm. Now, science is backing it up, NWITimes.com reported.

Snowball is a sulfur-crested Eleonora Cockatoo that became a YouTube sensation in 2007 when his owners posted a video of him doing the bird to "Everybody Rock Your Body."

Videos like Snowball's sparked the interest of researchers at the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego, who were studying whether some animals actually dance, or just are trained to move when music plays.  They contacted Irena and Chuck Schulz, Snowball's owners, and asked them to participate. 

Researchers mailed CDs with songs of different tempos to the Schultzs' bird sanctuary in Schererville, Ind.  Irena videotaped Snowball dancing to the different songs.  Researchers concluded that the bird can keep up the rhythm at all kinds of different tempos -- a feat that confounds plenty of humans.

Scientists think that only animals that can mimic sounds have the ability to move to a beat, which may lead them to study whether other animals, like dolphins, also have this ability.

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