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“The fifteenth example was an Asian elephant.”

Look, can those parrots really shake their tail feathers? Can foxes fox-trot? Can crocodiles do the crocodile rock? Can penguins slowly shift their weight from foot to foot like sober white men at their ex-girlfriend’s wedding? Tell us, animal dance scientists!

One thing that parrots, humans, and elephants have in common is that they are all vocal learners, meaning they can change the composition of the sounds they make, by changing pitch or the order of a song, for example. The list of species that YouTubers claim can dance is much longer, including ferrets, dogs, horses, pigeons, cats, fish, lizards, snakes, owls, camels, chimpanzees, turtles, ducks, hamsters, penguins, and bears, but they don’t pass scientific muster. As domestic species like dogs and horses don’t appear have any dancing aptitude, it suggests that this talent doesn’t develop entirely from exposure to music. Its origin lies deeper, within the biology of the species.

GO ON. We are all here on this planet to learn. And hump.


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