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Home* News and Stories → White wha­les imi­ta­te human voice

White whales imitate human voice

The obser­va­ti­on was made more than 30 years ago, but it still attrac­ted con­si­derable atten­ti­on when it was publis­hed pro­ber­ly recent­ly in a reco­gni­zed sci­en­ti­fic maga­zi­ne: White wha­les, also cal­led Belugas, are able to imi­ta­te the human voice with sur­pri­sing accu­ra­cy. This is at least what a young White wha­le did in an Ame­ri­can zoo: accu­rate­ly enough to con­fu­se near­by peop­le until the wha­le was iden­ti­fied as the source of the “voice”.

Due to its dif­fe­rent phy­sio­lo­gy, a Belu­ga is belie­ved to go through a con­si­dera­be pro­cess of lear­ning and prac­ti­ce befo­re it can pro­du­ce some­thing simi­lar to a human voice.

Simi­lar obser­va­tions have been made else­whe­re, but in this case even sound record­ings were secu­red.

White wha­les in Woodfjord. They did not say much, but nevertheless a stun­ning sight.

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Source: Cur­rent Bio­lo­gy

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last modification: 2014-07-01 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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