Wednesday, July 7, 2010

So you think you can dance?

For the June 23rd show (click here for podcast), we celebrated the dancing animals of the world. I read from an NPR story about Snowball, the Sulfur-crested Cockatoo (pictured left) who has demonstrated his skills on the dance floor. Few animals can actually follow a musical beat, but Snowball truly rocks out to the Backstreet Boys - keeping time even when the bpm are changed (Patel et al. 2009). A recent study of YouTube videos showed that the only animals that had this ability were 33 species of parrots and 1 elephant (Schachner et al. 2009). Check out the NPR link above for videos of all this dancing madness.

Of course we know animals dance in nature all the time, although maybe not to a musical beat. They often do this when they are trying to attract mates. Performing dance moves correctly is important for species recognition and can be a sign of a mate's quality. Sometimes the "dancing" gets so intense, death can result.

As for the news...
In honor of the World Cup currently underway in South Africa, the sound quiz featured the "big five" animals, which are some of the most impressive animals to see while on safari. These include elephants, buffalo, lions, leopards, and rhinos.

We listened to music to get your booty shaking during the show: Jamiroquai, Hot Chip, Bran Van 3000, Sally Shapiro, LCD Soundsystem, Chemical Brothers, Fischerspooner, Basement Jaxx, The Go! Team, Santigold, Röyksopp, Mylo, Sam Cooke, Louis Jordan, Tito Puente, Cut Copy, TV on the Radio.

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