Snowball, the dancing cockatoo, has been wowing people for more than a decade with his dance moves. But it turns out that this adorable birdie is even more talented than we thought, as scientists recently discovered that he is able to perform 14 distinct dance moves.
Back in 2007, Snowball took the internet by storm when a YouTube clip of him dancing to Backstreet Boys’ “Everybody” went viral and amassed millions of views.
Several more clips of the cockatoo dancing were shared by his owner, and they did not only catch the attention of internet users and media, but also scientists. A team of researchers started to study Snowball’s behavior and his dancing skill, eventually concluding that he is the first “non-human animal” able to “synchronized his movements to the beat of music.”
Other animals can be taught to dance, or have been observed to be able to perform dance-like moves, but this special cockatoo was the only one that dances spontaneously with music beats.
The research team, helmed by Aniruddh Patel, a Professor of Psychology at Tufts University, continued to observe Snowball over the years and concluded that he isn’t just repeating the same old moves, but that he adopted some new ones in the process.
In order to further investigate Snowball’s dancing tendencies, Patel and his team recently filmed Snowball dancing to Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” and Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.”
The researchers ended up compiling a video which shows all the diversity of Snowball’s moves and counted 14 distinct moves that the bird can perform.
“What’s most interesting to us is the sheer diversity of his movements to music,” – Professor Patel told Forbes while reiterating that the cockatoo learned his moves by himself and without any training.