Scientists train grey seals to ‘sing’ like humans. Watch video
Researchers in Scotland say gray seals can copy the sounds of human words and songs including “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” The study by University of St Andrews researchers showed that three trained seals were able to imitate parts of popular tunes.
The research team’s findings were published on Thursday, including video footage of the seals.The study gave the researchers a better understanding of the evolution of vocal learning and human language development.
Check out the video of the animals imitating popular tunes:
It didn’t take long for the video to make its way into other social media platforms. Here are some of the comments from netizens:
“I was amazed how well the seals copied the model sounds we played to them. Copies were not perfect but given that these are not typical seal sounds it is pretty impressive,” the project’s lead researcher Dr Amanda Stansbury told the BBC. “Our study really demonstrates how flexible seal vocalisations are. Previous studies just provided anecdotal evidence for this,” she further added.
It also suggested that gray seals could be a new model to study speech disorders since they use their vocal tracts the same way as humans.