Sea Lion That Enjoys Disco Beats

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A sea lion enjoys disco beats.

Move over John Travolta, Ronan the sea lion can bust out some mad disco moves, too.

In an experiment conducted at the University of California at Santa Cruz, the young sea lion started bobbing her head to “Boogie Wonderland”. The researchers say her response to the disco classic challenges previous notions about how animals respond to rhythm.

The team says it’s the first time a non-human mammal has displayed a convincing ability for beat keeping.

Birds have been particularly successful subjects in the past, but Ronan’s response blows apart the theory that only animals with the ability to mimic can decipher and interpret timed beats.

Sea lions are decidedly not among the beings that can mirror actions and sounds such as humans, and cockatoos.

UC-Santa Cruz graduate student Peter Cook said, “Our finding represents a cautionary note for an idea that was really starting to take hold in the field of comparative psychology."

Cook also noted that Ronan can get down to several songs but “Boogie Wonderland” is her favorite.