Saturday, February 7, 2009
Aniruddh Patel, a senior fellow at the Neurosciences Institute in California, received a link to Snowball, the dancing cockatoo, on youtube.com from a friend. He decided to test if the cockatoo was really dancing. He got in touch with Snowball's owner, Irena Shulz, asking if she would help him study the bird's rhythm or lack thereof.
Patel send her CDs of the bird's favourite Backstreet Boys track at different tempos and had her videotape his routines. He then graphed Snowball's movements against the varying beats. Patel discovered that the frequent moments that Snowball locked onto the beat weren't by chance. They demonstrated sensitivity to rhythm and an ability to synchronize to it.
Snowball and I seem to share a love of Stevie Nicks so I have included a tape of Snowball practicing her backup dancing routine for her next road trip with Stevie.
If you notice Snowball dances using his/her left foot as the lead. Unlike people who are mostly right-handed, parrots are mostly left-footed.
K: We look forward to Sophie's debut!