Current Weather
The Spy FM

In The Name Of Science, Head-Bobbing Sea Lion Keeps The Beat

Filed by KOSU News in Science.
April 2, 2013

While rhythm can often be hard enough to find among humans, finding it in the animal kingdom has been even more rare.

But thanks to a 3-year-old sea lion named Ronan who knows how to keep the beat, previous notions of rhythmic ability among animals are now being challenged.

The research team at the University of California at Santa Cruz’s Pinniped Cognition and Sensory Systems Laboratory says Ronan is the first nonhuman mammal to show evidence of beat keeping, something previously seen mostly in parrots and cockatoos.

“The fact that we showed Ronan could do it means that there’s a raw capability in sea lions,” lead researcher Peter Cook, a graduate student in psychology at UC-Santa Cruz, told NBC News.

Previously, Cook says, beat-keeping ability was thought to be tied to vocal mimicry, which is why birds can do it. Sea lions, however, are not vocal mimics, so Ronan’s ability to bob her head to the beat of “Boogie Wonderland” and The Backstreet Boys could mean that rhythmic ability in the animal kingdom might be more common.

We’re not quite sure what this means for science, but it sure is cute. [Copyright 2013 NPR]

Leave a Reply

7PM to 9PM The Oklahoma Rock Show

The Oklahoma Rock Show

The Oklahoma Rock Show filters through dozens of submissions a week to find the best in new local music. Ryan LaCroix is the host and mastermind behind the show and teaches at the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma (ACM@UCO).

Listen Live Now!

9PM to 5AM The Spy

The Spy

An eclectic mix of the Spy's library of more than 10,000 songs curated by Ferris O'Brien.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center