YouTube used for research on animal behavior

In the story "Parrots Join Humans On The Dance Floor", NPR reports on researchers that have confirmed parrots most likely have musical rhythm, which would be the first animals to demonstrate an "appreciation" for music.

Here's what I found more interesting… Researchers wanted to find out if other animal species might have musical rhythm, but couldn't afford to buy a lot of animals to conduct experiments.  So they turned to YouTube, and searched using terms like "animal" and "dancing".  From 5,000 videos of all types of animals, they conclude that 33 parrot species and one elephant species demonstrated clear musical rhythm.

I wonder what other kind of research problems will be solved with YouTube?

So what gives parrots and elephants rhythm, while dogs & cats couldn't care less? The researchers notcied that both parrots and elephants are vocal mimics.  Perhaps musical ability is a side-effect of vocal mimicry.  Perhaps humanity's musical ability arose from vocal mimicry in human primate ancestors.

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