An Orangutan Was Able To Learn, And Mimic, Human Speech
An international team of researchers played a game of "do as I do" with an orangutan. Surprisingly, the animal was able to learn new sounds.By Ryan Biek | July 28, 2016
An orangutan was able to mimic human speech as it learned new sounds from an international team of scientists.
They may seem more like grunts, but the orangutan you heard is showing some key vocal skills. Rocky was able to control his tone and pitch to repeat the random vowel sounds made by the researchers.
Before this study, scientists believed great apes lacked the ability to control their voices. That meant they were limited to a few dozen preset sounds and couldn't learn to produce new ones — making it a mystery how human speech could have evolved.