Media playback is unsupported on your device

Beluga whale 'makes human-like sounds'

22 October 2012 Last updated at 17:23 BST

Researchers in the US have been shocked to discover a beluga whale whose vocalisations were remarkably close to human speech.

While dolphins have been taught to mimic the pattern and durations of sounds in human speech, no animal has spontaneously tried such mimicry.

But researchers heard a nine-year-old whale named NOC make sounds octaves below normal, in clipped bursts.