Oct. 24 - Scientists from California's National Marine Mammal Foundation release audio of NOC, a Beluga whale, which they say mimics human speech. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT ONLY (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Scientists at the National Marine Mammal Foundation (NMMF) in San Diego, California, released audio that they claim shows a Beluga whale spontaneously mimicking sounds of the human voice. The NMMF, which published its findings in the scientific journal "Current Biology," released a still photograph and an audio recording of a white whale's "speech." The foundation's president Dr. Sam Ridgway said the vocalizations from the whale named 'NOC' sounded like two people speaking. "These 'conversations' were heard several times before the whale was eventually identified as the source. In fact, we discovered it when a diver mistook the whale for a human voice giving him underwater directions," Ridgway said in a press release.