Wikie the killer whale is grasping the basics of english. The whale can imitate 6 words: Hello, Amy, bye-bye, One, Two, and Three. Jose Amramson is a researcher with Complutense University of Madrid in Spain, who has been leading the team that is studying Wikie. It is a quite difficult task because Orcas and Humans speak differently. Orcas blow air through their blowholes in order to make sounds, while humans talk using voice boxes.
Orcas themselves are very smart animals. Learning to do imitation is a big sign of intelligence and shows that they are fully capable of skills we don’t even know about yet. Human intelligence developed way faster because we imitate each other, and teach each other things. This type of learning is called social learning. If a species uses social learning, the they have a better chance of survival when it comes to adapting to surroundings.
Story by Callie Judson