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Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Funky chicken? Not exactly, but museum seeking wacky bird dances

Posted December 26, 2013

Red Bird-of-Paradise has two central tail feathers that have been modified into “ribbons” that average 22 inches long. Courtesy: N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences

It's time to shake your tail feathers!

As part of its Birds of Paradise exhibit, the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences is holding a virtual dance contest.

The contest is an extension of the Dance, Dance, Evolution portion of the exhibit, where museum goers can strut like the birds, which are found in New Guinea and Australia. Once the dancing is over, others, perched on a deck above them, can vote for their favorites.

While the courtship dances are bizarre, they play a big role for the species. They determine which individual birds get to mate and pass on their genes.

So the natural sciences museum is asking this: "If you were a bird-of-paradise, what would your mating dance look like? Would you favor an existing dance, or step out in your own unique style? Or perhaps you’re a female bird-of-paradise out to turn the male-led traditional dancing scheme on its head!"

The museum would love to see your own birds-of-paradise dance video. Prizes will be awarded for one adult, one teen (13 to 18) and one youth (12 and under) video, plus the video that gets the most likes on the museum's Facebook page. Judges will consider dancing, costuming, story and overall quality of the video. Prizes include a museum membership, museum store gift certificate and more.

For all of the details and rules and to see videos of some of the wacky dances, click here.

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