I LOVE animal videos. I am a sucker for a cute puppy, kitty or any kind of animal video. I have stayed up WAY past my bedtime in order to watch one Dodo animal video after another on Youtube. So when I came across little Zola's video, I just had to share her vocal performance of 'Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star' and the 'Star Wars theme'.
Here's the back story of Zola the singing Grey Seal.
Research Scientists at the University of St. Andrews in the UK were studying seals from birth to see if they could teach them to mimic human speech patterns by copying melodies and human formants. What are Formants? Formants is also referred to as a acoustic resonance of the human vocal tract. Say WHAT? Basically, it's a skill that's crucial for learning a language. It's mostly a human ability and relatively rare in animals.
I'm no linguistic but after watching Zola in this video, I think Zola nailed her formants assignment. She'll never win a singing competition but either will most people. I can't sing, even though most of my life I thought I could, especially at a karaoke bar after a couple of beers. I have often been described as sounding like a wild animal in heat, so Zola is doing better than me if she can actually mimick humans.
Watch Zola sing/bark 'Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star' and the 'Star Wars' theme.