Animals | Trending | Weird

A Killer Whale Has Actually Been Taught To Mimic Human Speech

Science

It has been said that humans have become the dominant species on the planet largely in thanks to our ability to communicate through language.

We are able to give each each directions and pass on knowledge quickly, which means we can learn faster than other animals who need to "do" in order to "know."

Only a select few species have come close to developing language as complicated as ours, but now it seems that number has grown.

One orca, or killer whale, has been taught how to echo language prompts from its trainer.

This is a scientific breakthrough, as any animal that can demonstrate an understanding of social learning (or learning by copying) must have higher brain functioning than most beings on the planet.

While many birds can mimic human speech patterns, orcas are notable for producing sound not through the larynx in their throats, but via their blowhole.

It's a little eerie how close it sounds, listen for yourself on the next page!

Wikie was born in France, and lives in captivity in a facility surrounded by personal trainers and marine biologists.

While it has been known that orcas are smart enough to learn tricks like jumping out of the water for fish, being taught how to speak is something entirely different.

Orca's learn their whale calls from their pod, or community, and while every pod has their own call, it's not unheard of for certain members to imitate the call of a different group.

Now, we have definitive proof that orcas are capable of mimicking human language too.

What makes this even more amazing is that Wikie is an adult orca! This means that the species is capable of learning throughout its lifetime!

What would you like to ask an orca if you knew it could answer back?

Share if you think orcas are more intelligent than we thought!