Many birds sing, but only humans dance, right? Wrong. Enter Snowball, a sulphur-crested cockatoo who became a media sensation after being filmed "dancing" to 1980s hits such as "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" and "Another One Bites the Dust." Now 23 years old, Snowball has demonstrated 14 unique dance steps, which scientists say he performs not for food or reward, but just as a way of interacting with his human owners. Snowball grabbed his first bit of fame on YouTube in 2008, but he has since appeared in numerous TV shows and ads, including showing off his moves in a Taco Bell commercial featuring the Rupert Holmes hit "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)." The cockatoo is a species of parrot, but Snowball is the first animal of any kind -- besides people, of course -- that has been documented dancing to a beat.
A closer look at the cockatoo:
- Cockatoos have a normal lifespan of about 60 years, but a cockatoo named Cookie was 83 when he died at Brookfield Zoo near Chicago in 2016.
- The tallest cockatoo is the red-tailed black cockatoo, which can grow to a height of 26 inches (65 cm), while the heaviest is the palm cockatoo, which can weigh 35 ounces (1 kg).
- There are 21 species of cockatoo, all of which are native to Oceania, which includes Australia, Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanesia.