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Superb Lyrebird Gets its Groove On

Birds are no strangers to song and dance. If you’ve ever been out on a walk during mating season, you’ve undoubtedly seen the smooth movements of males trying to court a female and heard the complicated songs of many species.

But researchers have found that one type of Australian bird, the fantastically named Superb Lyrebird, takes song and dance to new levels by having some of the most sophisticated dance repertoires in the bird world.

Similar to how different songs spark different dance moves in humans (for example, the Electric Slide with “Electric Boogie” or the Dougie with “Teach Me How to Dougie”), the Superb Lyrebird has four specific dances to go along with four distinct songs. According to Wired, the Australian researchers recorded 12 males to dissect the patterns of the birds and found that their performances are elaborate.

From the video below, you can see a male doing one of the dance routines, but it’s difficult to hear and decipher the songs and dances. The first song sounds like a 1980s video arcade game, the second is loud and short, the third is short but quiet and the final one features a lot of buzz.

The male Superb Lyrebird has a large, ornate tail that fans out in different patterns, depending on the song, in order to impress the female.

With its great dance moves, interesting songs and flashy appearance, I’m sure these birds make great companions.

Timothy Martinez Jr. is a writer and freelance journalist. His work has been published in The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, Remapping Debate in New York City and other publications. He’s been a bird lover since he was young and currently lives in New Orleans, L.A.