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Science Briefing

Some animals may feel the beat

May 02, 2009|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Scientists say they've documented for the first time that some animals "dance" to a musical beat.

The researchers studied a few live birds and about 1,000 YouTube videos, looking for signs that animals feel the beat of music they hear.

Some parrots did, and maybe an occasional elephant, according to two studies published Thursday in Current Biology(09)00890-2.

But they found no evidence of such behavior in dogs and cats, despite long exposure to people and music, nor for chimps, our closest living relatives.

The truly boppin' animals shared with people some ability to mimic sounds they hear, which in people is considered a key component of learning to talk.

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