How a Duck Learned to Say ‘You Bloody Fool’

Voice analysis of a 34-year-old recording proves that Ripper the musk duck “independently evolved” to mimic his human caretakers.

In 1987, a researcher in Australia recorded a male musk duck named Ripper producing a vocalization that sounded very much like “You bloody fool,” along with sounds resembling a slamming door and a soft mumbling. A second duck in the region was recorded in 2000 imitating a Pacific black duck’s call. Both recordings survived, but they were never analyzed in any detail, and most of the accompanying records were destroyed in a wildfire that swept through the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve in 2003.

Ars Technica

This story originally appeared on <a data-offer-url="https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/09/confirmed-a-duck-named-ripper-learned-how-to-say-you-bloody-fool/" class="external-link" data-event-click="{"element":"ExternalLink","outgoingURL":"https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/09/confirmed-a-duck-named-ripper-learned-how-to-say-you-bloody-fool/"}"

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