Cockatoos are fucking jerks. With their spiky hair and their obnoxious shouting and their whole *gang mentality* – as far as birds go, these guys are the jocks, ~the boiz~, the staunching eshays of the sky.
Now, in a not-so-rare case of animals imitating Phil Collins, a bunch of male cockatoos in North Queensland have been caught bashing out drum solos to impress the honeys.
Scientists have captured rare footage of the parrots in the Cape York peninsula jamming out with a bunch of sticks and seed pods, in a series of performances obviously meant to impress the opposite sex. The live recordings show 18 different males blitzing their way through 130 drum solos: most of them performed in front of fit birds.
Most impressive is the way in which these drum solos resemble those of less bird-like drummers such as Travis Barker and Lars Ulrich, not just in motivation but also in terms of their basic musical style. All of the solos contained some form of pattern, with most birds demonstrating their own unique sequence: from incredibly rapid, hardcore-style percussion to a more laid-back, jazzy groove.
“We show that drumming by palm cockatoos shares the key rudiments of human instrumental music, including… performance in a consistent context, regular beat production, repeated components, and individual styles,” the scientists write, in a paper recently published in the Science Advances journal.
“[The cockatoos] appear to be more like solo musical artists… for example drummers in western rock bands, who have their own internalised notion of a regular pulse, and then generate the motor pattern that creates the beat”.
Researchers have suggested that this behaviour may point to the origins of drumming in human societies: namely, to get laid.
“Whatever it’s evolved to in the current state, it might have arisen in the first instance in a display of males showing off to females,” says Professor Robert Heinsohn from the Australian National University.
How well it worked out for these musical parrots is left up to speculation – but it’s safe to assume there’s a flock of groupies in North Queensland who are thirsty for a cockatoo.
Source: The Guardian/ABC
Feature image: Reddit