Recently, researchers have released a 1987 recording of a musk duck named Ripper mimicking humans. According to BBC, this is considered to be the first recorded evidence of the species mimicking sounds.
Back in 1987, Dr. Peter Fullagar initially recorded Ripper speaking at the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve in Canberra. But, only until recently did Professor Carel ten Cate from Leiden University rediscover these files.
Previously, scientists knew that other animals like elephants, bats, dolphins, and whales can mimic sounds. And for certain birds like parrots, hummingbirds, and songbirds, mimicking sound comes naturally. But, for musk ducks, Ripper seems to be the first of his kind to mimic sound, which is a significant scientific discovery.
In the audio piece you can play below, Ripper says, “you bloody fool!” which was one of his caretaker’s catchphrases.
Have you ever heard an animal speak? If one species of duck can speak, do you think more ducks have the ability?