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Still Waters

These Australian ducks can learn to swear like people

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Still Waters
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You wouldn't miss one of Australia's musk ducks if you saw it. The name comes from the musky smell the ducks waft around during the breeding season, and the males have a large, black lobe below their bill.

But if the musk duck you're hanging out with is called Ripper, the other dead giveaway is... swearing. With human words. For animal researchers this is an exciting find, and new research has looked into how a few of these particular species of duck ended up with that trait.

"Here, we provide evidence for vocal learning in a member of a basal clade of the avian phylogeny: the Australian musk duck (Biziura lobata)."

https://www.sciencealert.com/vocal-researchers-have-discovered-that-an-australian-musk-duck-would-swear-while-trying-to-mate

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Vocal imitations and production learning by Australian musk ducks (Biziura lobata)

https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rstb.2020.0243

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Still Waters

I wasn't sure what to make of this article.

Claiming the ducks are saying:

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speech-like phrase that can be described as ‘you bloody fool' 

is pushing things a bit. I listened and couldn't hear anything that sounded like that. Anyone else?

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HandsomeGorilla

I remember when people would swear Donald Duck was actually cussing when you couldn't make out what he was saying 

that's what this reminds me of 

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HandsomeGorilla

OK I moistened to it and honestly can't make out a single thing they claim the ducks are 'saying' and I have a hell of an imagination. hell I imagine I'm handsome and smart and I STILL couldn't imagine what the ducks were saying 

if you want to hear swearing birds, I have a friend who takes in parrots given up by their owners. well, they had one African gray that sadly must have come from a very domestically violent household, or at least one with lots of cussing and screaming. the scary part is they can imitate the voices very well, too! thankfully they didn't have neighbors, I'm sure they would have gotten calls of domestic violence. if the bird was excited, you couldn't shut him up, he was INCREDIBLY loud and the language wasn't appropriate for his website lol his favorite was 'wtf?' if he was out of his cage, he'd be scurrying around saying it in all different voices and pitches 

"wtf? what the ****? what. the. ****. WHAT THE ****?!" 

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jethrofloyd

Yeah, the Ripper says it quite clearly..... ‘you bloody fool' . Although, at first I thought he was saying .....'you stupid tool'.

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Likely Guy

The only reason I could hear it was because I was expecting to.

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Golden Duck
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... particularly Australian phrase ...

:lol:

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Susanc241

Acoustic pareidolia.

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Robotic Jew

Everyone laughs at me when I tell them about my duck phobia....well.....who's laughing now??

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Berwen

I suppose if a person were inebriated and also had a very vivid imagination this could be construe as meaningful but it does not sound like any word that we know. 

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pallidin

Wow! Too cute. I've heard of other vocal mimics in Nature, but never before a duck.

BTW, I'm a dolphin and even I talk.... 

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mesuma

Wonder what it says when it sees a shotgun.

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Kyle98632

Whether it is the duck mimicking the phrase or not, just listening to that record is kinda creepy.

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