That killer whale who thought it was a parrot!

The House of Science is like a collection of stories. Beautiful stories that tell neighborhoods in all their freshness. But also in all its complexities. Arch to marvel at the treasures of the world. In this new episode, let’s delve into an encounter with a somewhat chatty marine mammal: the killer whale.

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[EN VIDÉO] Blackfish, an investigation into the story of Tilikum, the killer whale
This video shows clips from the Blackfish documentary that tells the story of Tilikum, the killer whale involved in the deaths of three people. Captive, she continued to perform at Seaworld in Orlando, Florida. © Dugoff

There is something wonderful about a killer whale. Perhaps her beauty is black and white. Or maybe its size. Males can reach ten meters in length. and weighed accordingly. a ore It can weigh up to nine tons. Orca? Yes, because once not familiar, this name is feminine. Thus, in principle, one spells orca, whether to designate a female or a male individual. Even if we hear more and more verbally about the name on his file deviation masculine.

Therefore, the killer whale is a unique animal. It already exists with men in legends. peoples Browsers They would sometimes see them as the protectors of their souls, and sometimes they would be seen as vicious killers. However, it should not be confused with orcas – which can be written « goblins »It avoids confusion, specifically – it has been introduced into the qualitative literature Imaginary by J. R. R. Tolkien. These human-like beings with bestial physiognomy and bloodthirsty morals. Watches you love to enjoy human flesh.

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They bear their name from the seas, although they are fatter, they are much softer. They are definitely attracted to men. Very curious. But not violent for a penny. Except, sometimes, when they live in capturing. The way of life that frustrates them and Stress. The result: they suffer from psychological problems and neurosis. They can then be aggressive.

Researchers have taught orcas to repeat certain human words. © Science Magazine

Orca, Queen of Tradition

Killer whales are above all super predators whose role is to regulate marine ecosystems. These mammals of the dolphin family reign over the oceans. Not only because of their construction. Also thanks to them intelligence. Scientists have noticed it in the process of developing advanced avoidance strategies. When they don’t want to contact men.

When it comes to hunting, above all else, orcas have tremendously effective methods. It adapts to the area in which they live. Which also reduces risks. But also energy costs. They are even able to anticipate the reactions of their prey. In these ways, orcas know how to pass them on to their descendants. A behavior by which researchers define culture.

But the intelligence of killer whales does not stop there. Researchers have discovered that amazing marine mammals can even imitate foreign sounds such as howling wolf or a Door sharp. And even…human words!

That orca whales communicate with each other by sounds, as scientists have known for a long time. They even got to know the dialects in it. Differences in the communication signals of particular groups. In order to study precisely this behavior, the researchers wanted to see if orcas were able to repeat some of our words. simple words like ” Hello “And ” good bye “ where ” one two Three “. To show how tradition plays an important role in Construction from “Vocal Traditions” Unique killer whales.

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The researchers worked with Wikie, a 14-year-old captive orca in Marineland Antibes. They made him listen to the words. Then they asked him to return it. Wikie remarkably copied most of the words in less than ten attempts. Evidence of the complexity of both the social structure and the mental understanding of these large marine mammals. So, even if experience does not show that wiki understands our language, it attests to the fact that orca whales are not so stupid!

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