Study shows killer whales can imitate human sounds| MENAFN.COM

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Study shows killer whales can imitate human sounds

(MENAFN- NewsBytes)

Study shows killer whales can imitate human sounds
02 Feb 2018

Researchers from Germany, UK, Spain, and Chile have discovered that orcas or killer whales can imitate human speech to the extent of phrases like 'hello,' 'bye bye,' 'one-two,' 'ah ha,' and even the name 'Amy.'

They can also copy unfamiliar sounds from other whales like that of blowing a raspberry or a creaking door, the study showed.

Here's more on it.

A female orca could mimic new sounds within 17 trials

The research was carried out in France with a 14-year-old female orca named Wikie.

She was first trained to mimic three familiar orca sounds on cue, then asked to do the same with five unfamiliar orca sounds, and then finally exposed to human sounds.

The researchers found that Wikie was able to mimic all of the novel noises within 17 trials.

Orcas can also mimic sounds of bottlenose dolphins, sea lions

According to the scientists, the discovery throws light on the fact that orcas have been successfully imitating each other for years, which is how different killer whales have ended up acquiring distinct dialects.

It is also known that orcas can copy movements of others from its species and some reports suggest they can even imitate sounds of bottlenose dolphins and sea lions.

Its amazing how orcas can produce sounds from another species

One of the scientists said, "We thought what would be really convincing is to present orcas with something that is not in their repertoire. Even though their morphology is so different, they can still produce sounds that come close to what another species can produce."



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