Killer whale mimics human words

Orcas are among the many smartest sea creatures, and now it seems that one intelligent killer whale can sound nearly human. 

Before you get excited on the thought of a speaking killer whale, on this explicit case a 14-year-old orca named Wikie is repeating spoken sounds, together with “hello,” “bye-bye,” and “one, two, three.”

The talented orca who hails from Marineland Aquarium in Antibes, France, is the topic of a brand new scientific research written by researchers from the Complutense University of Madrid and Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. 

The research, entitled “Imitation of novel conspecific and human speech sounds in the killer whale (Orcinus orca),” was printed this week in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

“We found that the subject made recognizable copies of all familiar and novel conspecific and human sounds tested and did so relatively quickly (most during the first 10 trials and three in the first attempt),” the researchers stated within the research. “Our results lend support to the hypothesis that the vocal variants observed in natural populations of this species can be socially learned by imitation.”

During the research, researchers found that Wikie was capable of mimic the phrases very similar to a parrot, with out understanding the context of the language itself. Even although the orca is just not technically comprehending the phrases it repeats, the truth that it’s imitating human language via social studying is taken into account profound. 

“One of the main things that fired the evolution of human intelligence is the ability to have social learning, to imitate, and to have culture,” researcher Jose Abramson of the Complutense University of Madrid told Phys Org.  “So if you find that other species have also the capacity for social learning, and of complex social learning that could be imitation or teaching, you expect a lot of flexibility in that species.”

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