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Grey Seals Taught to Sing the Star Wars Theme, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (Video)

CC0 / / Grey seal
Grey seal - Sputnik International
Scientists from the Scottish Oceans Institute (SOI) at the University of St Andrews have studied the ability of grey seals to learn vocals.

Grey seals have shown off their remarkable talents when it comes to replicating a tune, Science Alert reported. Scottish scientists taught seals how to imitate human speech and also music, such as "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and the theme to the classic sci-fi franchise Star Wars.

The University of St Andrews has published a video compilation of grey seals singing.

"This study gives us a better understanding of the evolution of vocal learning, a skill that is crucial for human language development", biologist Vincent Janik of the Scottish Oceans Institute (SOI) at the University of St Andrews explained.

During the training, the animals were reportedly able to achieve 80 percent accuracy with the melodies being played.

"It takes hundreds of trials to teach the seal what we want it to do, but once they get the idea they can copy a new sound pretty well at the first attempt", the biologist noted.  

Three seals named Zola, Janice, and Gandalf participated in the research. Eventually, all three animals were able to mimic short sequences of sounds up to 10 notes.

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