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Santa Cruz Sea Lion Is First Ever Trained To Keep A Beat

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UCSC officials said Ronan is the first non-human mammal convincingly shown to be able to keep the beat. (UCSC/CBS)

UCSC officials said Ronan is the first non-human mammal convincingly shown to be able to keep the beat. (UCSC/CBS)

SANTA CRUZ (CBS) – A sea lion at UC Santa Cruz’s Long Marine Laboratory is making headlines for her dancing ability.

Scientists at the lab trained the sea lion – named Ronan – to bob her head in time with rhythmic sounds. They then showed that she could transfer this skill to tempos and music she hadn’t heard before.

UCSC officials said Ronan is the first non-human mammal convincingly shown to be able to keep the beat.

They said scientists call it “rhythmic entrainment.” Aside from humans, it was previously seen only in parrots and other birds with a talent for vocal mimicry.

Click here for more information on Ronan from UC Santa Cruz.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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