'You Bloody Fool': Researchers Publish Evidence of Australian Duck's Remarkable Mimicry

Scientists in Australia have published research on the remarkable range of mimicry observed in the musk duck. The sounds they documented included a slamming door, and, in one instance, a “speech-like phrase” they described as “You bloody fool.”

The speech-like recording was made in 1987 at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve near Canberra by researcher Peter Fullagar. It is attributed to an Australian musk duck named Ripper, who was four years old at the time of recording.

In the audio, Ripper can be heard mimicking a human voice and making a sound like the phrase “You bloody fool.” In addition to the human imitation, Ripper was also able to mimic the sound of a slamming door, the study said.

“The vocalization is most likely an imitation of a phrase he heard repeatedly from his caretaker, but it is not known at which age he was exposed to it,” the study said. Credit: Peter Fullagar via Storyful

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting