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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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New York to ban sale of foie gras

News Story 1
 New York City councillors have voted overwhelmingly in favour of legislation that will see the ban of foie gras in the city. The move, which comes in response to animal cruelty concerns, will take effect in 2022.


 Councillor Carlina Rivera, who sponsored the legislation, told the New York Times that her bill “tackles the most inhumane process” in the commercial food industry. “This is one of the most violent practices, and it’s done for a purely luxury product,” she said.


 Foie gras is a food product made of the liver of a goose or duck that has been fattened, often by force-feeding. New York City is one of America’s largest markets for the product, with around 1,000 restaurants currently offering it on their menu. 

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Humane Slaughter Association student scholarships open for applications

Applications for the Humane Slaughter Association’s student/trainee Dorothy Sidley Memorial Scholarships are now open.

The Scholarships provide funding to enable students or trainees in the industry to undertake a project aimed at improving the welfare of food animals during marketing, transport and slaughter. The project may be carried out as an integral part of a student's coursework over an academic year, or during the summer break.

The deadline for applications is midnight on the 28 February 2020. To apply and for further information visit www.hsa.org.uk/grants or contact the HSA office.