An Asian Elephant Imitates Human Speech

  title={An Asian Elephant Imitates Human Speech},
  author={Angela S. St{\"o}ger and Daniel Mietchen and Sukhun Oh and Shermin de Silva and Christian T. Herbst and Soowhan Kwon and W. Tecumseh Fitch},
  booktitle={Current Biology},
Vocal imitation has convergently evolved in many species, allowing learning and cultural transmission of complex, conspecific sounds, as in birdsong. Scattered instances also exist of vocal imitation across species, including mockingbirds imitating other species or parrots and mynahs producing human speech. Here, we document a male Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) that imitates human speech, matching Korean formants and fundamental frequency in such detail that Korean native speakers can… CONTINUE READING