Newly released audio from the male whale named Noc, who died five years ago at the National Marine Mammal Foundation in San Diego, shows the animal modifying its calls when in the company of humans.
Scientists previously thought whales made sounds much different to those of humans but a new study led by researcher Sam Ridgway suggests they may be able to modify their speech, according to The Independent.
“Our observations suggest the whale had to modify its vocal mechanisms in order to make the speech-like sounds,” Mr Ridgway said.
“Such obvious effort suggests motivation for contact.”
Mr Ridgway and other researchers initially observed Noc’s calls in 1984, and said further study revealed the rhythm and frequency of the whale's voice was sometimes similar to humans.