Duck learns to swear after imitating humans [video]

WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:

  • A musk duck at Australia’s Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve learned to “speak.”
  • The duck, named Ripper, was recorded repeatedly saying “you bloody fool,” which is thought to be one of his caretaker’s favorite expressions.
  • Musk ducks have now been classified as a species capable of mimicking human language.

Talk about fowl language.

A duck at the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve near Australia’s capital learned to speak.

A duck at the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve near Australia’s capital learned to speak.

The musk duck, named Ripper, was recorded saying “you bloody fool,” which is thought to be one of his caretaker’s catchphrases.

Research published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B journal included newly surfaced audio of then-four-year-old Ripper’s expletive-filled monologue.

Ripper was raised at the nature reserve back in the 1980s. He is now the focus of the research that studies musk duck recordings to look at their ability to acquire vocalization through learning.

Researcher Carel ten Cate found the footage recorded by Australian birder Peter Fullagar around 1987.

“The man, Peter Fullagar, told me that the duck was hand reared and would have had heard the sound as a duckling,” ten Cate said.

“This came as a big surprise. Because even though the bird was recorded 35 years ago, it remained unnoticed by researchers in the vocal learning field until now,” ten Cate said. “That makes it a very special rediscovery.”

Musk ducks now have the distinguished capability of mimicking human language, along with parrots and mynah birds.

Source: New York Post

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