Today’s Solutions: January 25, 2022

Parrots, songbirds, and even hummingbirds have famously been known to mimic human speech, but until now, no other avian species had been documented exhibiting the same behavior. That all changed when an Australian musk duck began yelling what appeared to be English words in the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.

According to researchers, this is the first documented case of a duck mimicking human language. The duck, a male named Ripper, was actually first recorded three decades ago, but the recording has only just come to the attention of researchers. Ripper’s signature phrase, which is a bit too vulgar for us to repeat here on The Optimist Daily, is believed to have been learned from his caregiver.

Although unique in his repetition of English phrases, Ripper isn’t the only duck who mimics. Other dicks on the reserve have been known to mimic each other and a duck in Pensthorpe Natural Park in the UK has been observed mimicking nearby horses.

This discovery solidifies previous findings that mimicry in avian species seems to have evolved independently in different areas of the world. Although researchers aren’t quite sure what implications this will have for language study, it does offer interesting insights into how vocal patterns and language develop in non-human species.

Source study: The Royal SocietyVocal imitations and production learning by Australian musk ducks

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

The psychological reason we’re so taken with Wordle

If you use any kind of social media platform, you may notice the sudden appearance of gray, green, and yellow boxes in grids cluttering up your news feeds. This is because of the latest online ... Read More

Here’s why scientists are building an “artificial moon”

Humans are still trying their hardest to figure out how gravity works, with good reason. Gravity is one of the most fundamental forces in the universe and once we understand it, we can use it ... Read More

Master your “career story” to help you land your dream job

If you’re among the millions of Americans who decided to leave their jobs in the past year, then you'll likely find yourself preparing to interview for new positions now or in the near future. To ... Read More

This discarded 1990s window design could help fight climate change

According to the United States Department of Energy, buildings use about 76 percent of electricity in the US and are responsible for about 40 percent of all direct and associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in ... Read More

Do babies use saliva to figure out relationship dynamics?

A curious research team from MIT recently dived into this intriguing question. If you think about it, we only share saliva with our nearest and dearest. From kissing, to sharing forks, or eating the same ... Read More

Designers turn unrecyclable clothes into high-quality textiles

One of the biggest environmental concerns regarding textiles is that most of them are difficult to recycle once they reach the end of their use. This is because these materials typically contain a variety of ... Read More