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April 2 2013

Head-Bobbing Sea Lion May Keep the Beat Better Than You


A sea lion trained to bob her head in time to music not only appears to have better rhythm than many people, but she is also challenging researchersí notions about beat-keeping in animals. Previously, the only non-human animals shown to keep a beat were birds with exceptional vocal mimicry skills, such as Snowball, the dancing cockatoo. As a result, scientists had suggested that learning such skills required a talent for vocal mimicry.

The sea lionís moves suggest thatís not necessarily true, scientists report in the Journal of Comparative Psychology.

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