Belugas talking like people! Or at least one!  »

So this is what can happen when a beluga lives in San Diego for seven years.

We do not claim that our whale was a good mimic compared to such well-known mimics as parrots or mynah birds. However, the sonic behavior we observed is an example of vocal learning by the white whale. It seems likely that NOC’s close association with humans played a role in how often he employed his human voice, as well as in its quality.

You really must listen to this recording of NOC talking [mp3], it is the weirdest thing you will hear all week.

[Photo by Chris O’Donoghue via Flickr; link via The Hairpin]

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