Wait, what! These old recordings can prove that some ducks can 'talk' | Details inside
Amsterdam (Netherlands) | Jagran Trending Desk: In what could be termed as a bizarre incident, a Dutch scientists has unveiled old recordings of a musk duck mimicking the phrase, "You bloody fool!". The duck learnt the phrase when it was raised by humans in an Australian bird park, said the scientists.
Carel Ten Cate, a scientist at Leiden University, said the most interesting part of the vocal expression of the waterfowl, nicknamed “Ripper", is not the message it was repeating but the way that it could mimic humans at all.
In his findings, which were published in the Netherlands' Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society biological research journal, Cate said, "it's definitely based on the human voice, even though the pronunciation is a bit odd - which might be the Australian accent, I don't know".
He said he had at first wondered whether the recordings, made in the 1980s, could be a hoax, but they were made by living ornithologist Peter Fullagar, who co-authored the paper. The recordings had been kept in a sound archive and referenced occasionally until Ten Cate rediscovered them in the course of his research on vocal learning in birds.
Ten Cate said Ripper had a bit more in his repertoire - he could also make a noise like the sound of a door closing and its latch clicking.
Some species of animals, and notably birds such as parrots and songbirds, are capable of mimicking human speech. But the phenomenon is rare - if somewhat more common in animals raised by humans.
"To find a species quite outside these groups...in a duck, that's quite extraordinary. So it's an independent evolutionary occurrence of the ability for vocal learning - that's very special," Ten Cate said.
(With Reuters inputs)
Posted By: Mallika Mehzabeen