When you set a video to music, you want to find a song that’s appropriate for what’s happening in the scene. When it’s some kind of dancing animal, you typically have to match the song to fit the critter’s movement, since animals typically aren’t good dancers. It was widely believed that animals can’t dance because they can’t talk, but researchers say that’s not necessarily the case. Ronin the Sea Lion has been taught to find the rhythm of a song and dance to it. Ronin is the first non-human animal to show the ability to keep a beat. Here’s some video of Ronin in action:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yS6qU_w3JQ
“Once she had learned, without any further training, Ronan was able to find and keep the beat in complex stimuli, including music,” explained researcher Peter Cook from the University of California-Santa Cruz. “These findings show that the capacity for entrainment of movement to rhythmic sounds does not depend on a capacity for vocal mimicry, and may be more widespread in the animal kingdom than previously hypothesized.”
Indeed, Ronin isn’t simply bobbing in 4/4 time, she’s finding and reacting to the rhythm of the music. After all, she’s dancing to “Boogie Wonderland” by Earth Wind And Fire, which has five different time signatures during the song, and Ronin is finding and following them all, so she’s not just following a trainer’s signals. She’s also a fan of the song “Everybody” by the Backstreet Boys.
Tags: journal of comparative psychology, dancing sea lion, sea lion dancing, first non-human animal to keep a beat, animals can keep a beat, animals can understand beats, ronin, ronin the seal, ronin the dancing seal, boogie wonderland, earth, everybody, backstreet boys, sea lion dances to earth and backstreet boys, dancing animals, peter cook, ucsc, university of california santa cruz