Spontaneous human speech mimicry by a cetacean

  title={Spontaneous human speech mimicry by a cetacean},
  author={Sam H. Ridgway and Donald A. Carder and Michelle I. Jeffries and Mark Todd},
  journal={Current Biology},

Figures from this paper

Imitation of novel conspecific and human speech sounds in the killer whale (Orcinus orca)

The capacity for vocal imitation shown in this study may scaffold the natural vocal traditions of killer whales in the wild and lend support to the hypothesis that the vocal variants observed in natural populations of this species can be socially learned by imitation.

Vocal Imitation of Human Speech, Synthetic Sounds and Beluga Sounds, by a Beluga (Delphinapterus leucas)

We tested the ability of a beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) to imitate sounds presented to it. During the training session, we presented the subject three recorded sounds that were emitted by the

Formant Modification through Vocal Production Learning in Gray Seals

Vocal production learning in mammals revisited

The available evidence for vocal learning in mammals from the last 25 years is summarized, updating earlier reviews on the subject and highlighting the importance of quantitative comparisons of seemingly learned sounds with vocal repertoires before learning started or with species repertoires to confirm novelty.

Preliminary Study of Discrimination of Human Vocal Commands in Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens)

Walruses seem to use various acoustic signals in social context. So, the auditory faculty is seems to be important for walruses. Can walruses understand another animals' vocal information using

A beluga whale socialized with bottlenose dolphins imitates their whistles

The case of a beluga whale that was housed with a group of bottlenose dolphins found that it began to imitate whistles of the dolphins, whereas one type of its own calls seemed to disappear.

Differences in acoustic features of vocalizations produced by killer whales cross-socialized with bottlenose dolphins.

That killer whales produce similar repertoires when associated with another species suggests substantial vocal plasticity and motivation for vocal conformity with social associates and shows that killer whales are capable of contextual learning.

Orangutan (Pongo spp.) whistling and implications for the emergence of an open-ended call repertoire: a replication and extension.

Viceless call learning in orangutans implies that some important components of human speech learning and control were in place before the homininae-ponginae evolutionary split.

Imitating Sounds: A Cognitive Approach to Understanding Vocal Imitation

It is suggested that sound imitation capacities may have evolved in certain mammals to enhance both the perception of ongoing actions and the prediction of future events, rather than to facilitate mate attraction or the formation of social bonds.



Spontaneous vocal mimicry and production by bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus): evidence for vocal learning.

The patterns of vocal mimicry and production suggest a new model for analyzing dolphin vocalizations and vocal development with respect to signal structure and organization.

Vocal Mimicry in Tursiops: Ability to Match Numbers and Durations of Human Vocal Bursts

In 92 percent of the exchanges the number of bursts emitted by Tursiops equalled, �1, the number just previously emitted by a man in sequences of one to ten bursts.

Dolphin whistles: a functional misnomer revealed by heliox breathing

The term whistle is a functional misnomer as dolphins actually do not whistle, but form the fundamental frequency contours of their tonal calls by pneumatically induced tissue vibrations analogous to the operation of vocal folds in terrestrial mammals and the syrinx in birds.


The behavior of three captive specimens of Delphinapterus leucas was observed for prolonged periods and their underwater sound producti on was recorded. Sonic and physical activities of the whales

Nasal Pressure and Sound Production in an Echolocating White Whale, Delphinapterus leucas

EMG was studied the activity of laryngeal muscles and nasal muscles, making comparisons between the two groups of muscles during sound production, and pressure in the nasal cavities and in the trachea adjacent to the larynx was measured.

The different roles of social learning in vocal communication

It is found that unexpected genetic or environmental factors can have considerable effects on vocal behaviour in birds and mammals and are often more likely to cause changes or differences in vocalizations than investigators may assume.

Temporal Predictive Codes for Spoken Words in Auditory Cortex

Functional morphology and homology in the odontocete nasal complex: Implications for sound generation

Comparing and contrasting the morphologic patterns of nasal structures across species representing every extant odontocete superfamily reveals probable homologous relationships, which suggests that all toothed whales may be making their biosonar signals by a similar mechanism.

The harmonic interval : fact or artifact in spectral analysis of pulse trains

Underwater Listening to the White Porpoise (Delphinapterus leucas).