|Rocky the orangutan.|
The ability, demonstrated by Rocky in a video and documented in the journal Scientific Reports, suggests that critical skills underlying human speech were present in the common ancestor of our species and other great apes.
As the video shows, Rocky -- when rewarded with plenty of peanuts -- can play a successful game of "do-as-I-do." He really nails one of the sounds towards the end of the clip:
"This indicates that the voice control shown by humans could derive from an evolutionary ancestor with similar voice control capacities as those found in orangutans and in all great apes more generally."
After this extensive comparison, the scientists were able to conclude that the sounds made by Rocky were different than the sounds included in the database. This shows that Rocky was able to learn new sounds and to control the action of his voice in a "conversational" context.
Read more at Discovery News