Why Do Animals Dance to the Backstreet Boys?

To get an animal to dance doesn't seem like the most daunting task a human being can do, but there's actually a good deal of science behind it. So I am officially calling all animal videos, research. Why does it matter if an animal can keep a beat? It's not really something animals are supposed to be able to do. For the animals capable of finding and retaining the rhythm of a song, it represents a departure from what we would normally witness in nature. It suggests that there's a lot we don't understand about how rhythm is acquired and what it means for the animal species. 

Ronan is not your ordinary sea lion. Researchers at the University of California Santa Cruz have trained him to bob his head to the beat of music. The sea lion was trained using a metronome and is now able to find and keep the beat to a variety of songs. But enough talking, just watch the video. 


The idea for teaching Ronan how to dance came from the wildly popular bird videos of Snowball, the dancing cockatoo. Prior to Ronan's debut, birds that imitate sound were thought to be the only mammals able to keep rhythm. Researchers theorized that animals who were vocal learners might have the ability to keep rhythm. Ronan, however, shows that the ability to keep rhythm may not be only limited to animals who possess vocal mimicry skills. 


If you've watched the videos you may have noticed that both of these animals dance to the song "Everybody" by the Backstreet Boys. The only conclusion that can be wrought from this is that the song was engineered as part of BSB's continuing quest for inter-special domination. Case and Point: 


and because science compels me. 


How much do you trust the information in this article?

Andrea Ayres-Deets

PM Politics Intern- M.A. in Writing from the University of Warwick. Lover of sci-fi, awkward situations, and coffee.

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