Check out Snowball, the incredible dancing cockatoo

Though there are examples of grooving elsewhere in the animal kingdom, Snowball's moves proves he dances alone
sulphur-crested cockatoo A sulphur-crested cockatoo from Indiana just might be the best dancer you've ever seen... (© Farinoza - Dreamstime.com)


If you've spent any time on the internet (and you're here, so we're guessing that you have), you've probably seen videos of animals dancing.

Like dogs spinning to "The Twist" or budgies bopping to Stevie Wonder. Animals do like to move. And from bees to birds of paradise, many even have dances that a crucial to their survival. But none of them dance quite like this resident of Bird Lovers Only rescue centre in Dyer, Indiana.

Presenting Snowball, the Dancing Cockatoo!

(Just a warning: some of Snowball's friends at the rescue centre are pretty excitable, so get ready for some hilariously loud squawks!)

What makes this Snowball so cool?

This sulphur-crested cockatoo has actually been a sensation for a while now. This video is from 2007! So why show it now?

Thanks to a decade of research by scientists at Tufts University in Massachusetts, we now know that Snowball's moves are more than delightful. They're mind-blowing.

Ever since researcher Aniruddh Patel first asked Snowball's owner Irena Schulz in 2009 if he could study the bird, he has discovered that this dancing cockatoo can do something that was pretty much only done by humans before. Without training or a human example to copy, Snowball dances in time to the beat.

Plus, he has at least 14 different moves in his repertoire. Here they are, displayed one by one.

Creative mind at work

It's super groovy, sure. But why are scientists at Tufts freaking out? Because each of these moves requires a level of comprehension and, well, creativity, that is very human. Snowball can even respond to changes in tempo if the music is sped up or slowed down.

Can any other non-human animals do what Snowball can? Scientists have found a few examples, mainly other parrots. But even then, none of them have displayed Snowball's level of invention. We wish we could dance as well as him!

Thankfully, even more studies are in the works to understand more about this dancing cockatoo's skills. Groove on, Snowball!


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  1. Snowball is an awesome dancer, but as far as I can tell, he doesn’t even move his WINGS when dances. ❗ I mean, imagine him having a dance move where he holds up his wings, stands on one leg and does a full spin, all at the same time.

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