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Parrot performs 16 dance moves, scientists say
The recent study suggests there are five distinct capacities that form key evolutionary prerequisites for dancing to music. (Stock photo)
Snowball appears to have invented some of his own moves 

A parrot in the US can perform 16 distinct dance moves, some of which he appears to have invented himself, according to a new study.

The research, published in Current Biology, suggests that, like humans, parrots can respond to music using a wide variety of movements and body parts.

Over 10 years ago, researchers at Tufts University studied Snowball, a sulphur-crested cockatoo, bobbing his head to the beat of a Backstreet Boys song. This suggested that parrots, unlike most species, have the cognitive ability to anticipate a beat and move to it.

In the latest study, researchers found that Snowball can perform 16 different dance moves, none of which he has been trained to do. His dancing developed through social interaction with people and he appears to have made up some of the moves, as his owner Irene Schulz, a co-author on the study, does not make these moves when she dances with him.

Tufts researchers say that dancing to music is not just an arbitrary product of human culture.

Psychology professor Aniruddh Patel said: “It’s a response to music that arises when certain cognitive and neural capacities come together in animal brains.”

The recent study suggests there are five distinct capacities that form key evolutionary prerequisites for dancing to music.

“We think this helps explain why so few species - and no other primates - share our impulse to move to music in spontaneous and diverse ways,” he added.

Now the team hope to find out whether parrots - like humans - prefer to dance with another of their kind rather than alone.

 

 

Video by Bird Lovers Only Rescue Service

Image (c) Irena Schulz

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AWF Student Grant open for submissions

News Story 1
 Applications are open for the Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) Student Grant Scheme for innovative research projects designed to impact animal welfare.

Undergraduate and postgraduate students of veterinary science, veterinary nursing, agriculture studies and animal welfare are invited to submit their proposals to undertake research projects next year.

Grants are decided based on the project’s innovation, relevance to topical animal welfare issues and ability to contribute towards raising animal welfare standards. For more information visit animalwelfarefoundation.org.uk.  

Click here for more...
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In a new animated film, the celebrities raise awareness by showing the solidarity of the UK's own working animals on strike. A sniffer dog (Brian Blessed), police horse (Peter Egan) and sheepdog (Deborah Meaden) are shown ignoring their duties and protesting in solidarity with animals in developing countries.

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