First evidence that killer whales are capable of imitating human speech sounds.
An international study in which the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) participates has provided the first scientific proof that killer whales "are capable of imitating human speech sounds". Furthermore, they could "acquire their vocal dialects through social learning".
The research results were published on January 31th, 2018 in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, with the name Imitation of novel conspecific and human speech sounds in the killer whale. This work has been developed by the Grupo de Estudio del Comportamiento Animal y Humano (GECAH) of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, whose main researcher is José Zamorano Abramson, in collaboration with Professor Lino García Morales of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, the Universidad Católica de Chile, St. Andrews University (Scotland) and the Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Germany).