Sea lion dancing to 'Boogie' beat sheds light on rhythm in brain (Video)

 Up until now it was thought that humans were the only mammals with the ability to move to the beat of music whether by foot tapping to the music or all out body moving on the dance floor. But one California sea lion named Ronan is proving that notion is pretty outdated and speciescentric.

Recently a series of experiments were conducted at the Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of California at Santa Cruz with the 3-year-old sea lion where she was exposed to a variety of pop songs such as hits like John Fogerty's "Down on the Corner," "Everybody" by the Backstreet Boys, and "Boogie Wonderland" by Earth, Wind and Fire. What was astonishing was that Ronan learned to keep near-perfect rhythm once the music began and she would bob her head on time with the song's changing beats.

According to the study's lead researcher, doctoral candidate Peter Cook, the sea lion's acquired rhythm-keeping ability demonstrates a cognitive capability previously observed in just a handful of other species already known to be musical such as parrots.

"Dancing is universal among humans, and until recently, it was thought to be unique to humans as well. When some species of birds were found to have a similar capability for rhythmic movement, it was linked to their ability to mimic sound. Now we're seeing that even mammals with limited vocal ability can move in time with a beat over a broad range of sounds and tempos," said Peter Cook.

Although this recent discovery might not drastically change the way we look at the natural world around us, it does raise questions about our supremacy in the musical realm that was once thought to be uniquely human.

Watch Ronan move to the beat in the video below.

Note: White Wolf Pack does not in any way support experiments on animals.

Responses to "Sea lion learns to dance to music in a scientific study"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Sea lions are smarter then most people think they are!!!! You can get to recognize them as individuals. Their barks are different as well as their attitudes. I used to go to Santa Cruz just to see them all time.

    Thank you for sharing!!!!

  2. Gale says:

    This is so sad.... what else has Ronan got to keep busy in the the sterile tiny space? It looks a bit like I'd imagine Guantanimo

  3. jenn1nAustralia says:

    Saw this on tv they trained the seal by feeding it i response to the seal nodding in time to the clicks ..then onto the music wonder if the seal really enjoys the music or the food rewards...

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