10 Animals That Talk

Whether mimicking sounds or communing with each other, animals prove over and over again that they are deeply intelligent.

1. Koko the gorilla learned more than 1,000 signs based on American Sign Language.

Koko: A Talking Gorilla” is a 1978 documentary that introduced Koko to the world.

2. A beluga whale imitating human speech.

Not only can they speak, but beluga whales put most of us to shame with their dance moves.

3. Praire dogs use a very complex language to describe specific predators.

4. Carl Sagan says one whale song has as much information content as “The Iliad” or “The Odyssey.”

5. Akeakamai, a dolphin in Hawaii, learned over 2,000 sentences and trained to be a lifeguard.

6. Dogs understand American Sign Language.

7. This is a very special dog, Chaser the collie, who knows more than 1,000 words.

8. Kanzi and Panbanisha are bonobo apes that learned to communicate through a keyboard.

9. Luna the orca whale imitating a boat motor.

Orca whales (who have a bad rep and are sometimes called killer whales) have complex vocalizations that are used to navigate and talk to their friends.

10. Loki explains the trials and tribulations of being an African grey parrot.

Alex the African grey parrot is the most famous talking parrot, learning over 100 words and even having an obituary written about him in the New York Times. He was the subject of animal psychologist Irene Pepperberg, who demonstrated that parrots could comprehend what they were saying.

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