Seals learn to mimic human tones, Scottish scientists say

John MacDougall/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Scientists from the University of St Andrews in Scotland say they’ve taught grey seals to mimic human tones.

The two scientists raised three seals from birth, training them to copy human vowel combinations.

Scientists from the University of St Andrews in Scotland say they’ve taught grey seals to mimic human tones.

The two scientists raised three seals from birth, training them to copy human vowel combinations.

One seal, named Zola, could reproduce up to 10 notes from “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.”

“This study gives us a better understanding of the evolution of vocal learning, a skill that is crucial for human language development,” a spokesperson for the university says.

The study says seals “could be a new model system to study speech disorders,” according to a release from the university.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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