Killer whale learns to mimicing words

Whales learn in families.     Shutterstock

Whales learn in families. Shutterstock

In mimicking words such as "hello" and "bye bye", Wikie has been taught by scientists to say a number of words and is thought to be the world's first killer whale to be recorded copying human language, according to the BBC.

Wikie, a captured killer whale, learned how to imitate human words.

A high-pitched and eerie voice uttering the name "Amy" is quite clear in the audio released by the study's researchers.

"The results reported here show that killer whales have evolved the ability to control sound production and qualify as open-ended vocal learners", the scientists conclude. The same cannot be said for toothed cetaceans (think whales and dolphins) as they produce sounds in their nasal passages, thus making Wikie's audible performance even more remarkable.

She "spoke" while partially immersed in water with her blowhole ex- posed and is believed to be the first orca to do so.

China Eastern Cancels Holiday Flights Amid Dispute With Taiwan
They included a northbound route known as M503, which travels up the Taiwan Strait that divides China from the self-ruling island. Moreover, of 70 flights had been cancelled by Xiamen Airlines which blamed Taiwan for the hitch and labelling them as heartless.

The whale words were also analysed in waveform and matched the human words when the acoustical recordings were compared. They included words and also noises such as an elephant call, a wolf howl and a creaking door. They report that she made recognisable copies of all the sounds, usually within the first 10 attempts, and sometimes straight away.

Wikie's success takes the number non-human mammal species capable of imitating human speech to four.

He said: "It's conceivable. if you have labels, descriptions of what things are".

Wikie was given a fish or an affectionate pat when she achieved the sound to reinforce the learning.

The team tested a 14-year-old female orca called Wilkie with multiple sounds in different scenarios, including using loudspeakers.

Four dead after a shooting at a Pennsylvania vehicle wash Sunday morning
Cline's relative, Sierra Kolarik, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that Smith had moved toward becoming focused with the woman. Family members and friends console each other after four people are killed at a Pennsylvania vehicle wash.

"She is also a painful reminder that in the wild where these awesome animals swim free, they communicate with each other using complex language and even group-specific dialects, natural communication that is utterly denied them in captivity".

During the research study, Wikie was trained to become familiar with unknown sounds.

The researchers concluded: "In sum, Wikie made recognizable copies of the demonstrated sound judged in real time by two observers, Wikie's trainer and one experimenter, later confirmed by both after listening to the recordings".

"That is what makes it even more impressive - even though the morphology [of orcas] is so different, they can still produce a sound that comes close to what another species, in this case us, can produce", said Call. A similar process was done for the second round, but with all human sounds.

Kim Kardashian calls out Lindsay Lohan after criticism of braids
Anyway, despite her blur-tool skills, some people still weren't happy with the amount of flesh on display in the picture. But fiesty Kim wasn't about to let that kind of shade slide, and quickly fired back: 'You know what's confusing...

Latest News