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Good evening, good evening, good evening, good evening.
Welcome to QI, which, tonight,
is a menagerie of animals beginning with M.
Let's meet our man children.
The mammalian Romesh Ranganathan...
..the marsupial Bill Bailey...
..the microscopic Sue Perkins...
..and the missing mink Alan Davies.
So, let's hear it for the monkeys, please. Sue goes...
..Romesh goes... MONKEY GIBBERS
-Which, you do, actually, don't you?
-I do, yeah.
..and Alan goes...
# Hey hey, we're the Monkees
# People say we monkey around... #
So, it's a menagerie.
Imagine an imaginary menagerie manager
managing an imaginary menagerie.
-Very good, well done.
-Thank you very much.
What's...? What...? What just happened?
We're imagining an imaginary menagerie manager
-managing an imaginary menagerie.
-That certainly is impressive.
It's a menagerie. Animal collections.
That monkey's really staring you out, Stephen.
All right. Now, do an impression,
if you can, of a moose on the pull.
A moose on the pull? OK.
-Probably. That will enter into it.
-When it goes...
"Are you a parking ticket
"cos you got fine written all over you-ooh?"
-Is that a genuine pick-up line? I love it.
-I think it might be.
-"Fine" written all over you.
-I'm not actually sure what...
It's not really the sound. It's actually a physical...maybe.
-It's a physical impression.
-Did you do that?
A male moose would do that...?
Does it go up...?
Does it go up on its rear legs and... Eh?
Eh? See anything you like, moose lady?
-Or moose gentleman.
So, what order of mammals is a moose?
It's an elk, isn't it? Or a deer?
Well, an elk is simply the European name for what Americans call a moose.
-I've seen one.
-I've seen one.
-I went to Canada and I was staying in a cabin...
..and I woke up in the morning, and I looked out the window,
and it was right outside the window. They're almost entirely silent.
-They're so stealthy, you wouldn't think...
-I mean, they're huge - they're like a horse...
..but they hardly make any sound at all, and they creep about.
Frankly, they're unnerving. They're surreptitious.
-I'm amazed it makes any noise...
Would be more like this, then? Would be more like sort of...?
Don't look. Look away. Pretend you're a moose
-at a disco or something.
-Fancy a bunk-up?
Is it something like that?
"Fancy a bunk-up?"
-It's a moose.
-He said, "Fancy a bunk-up?"
You haven't chatted anyone up since the '70s, have you?
I sort of feel sorry for animals...
Like, well, moose. ..because they haven't got... How do you...?
If you're going on the pull, as a moose,
how do you stick out from the herd?
If you're a human and you're struggling on the pull,
you can get, like, a snazzy haircut or, like, a cool jacket.
-Do you know what I mean?
So, the moose does something else.
-Ah! It goes on Tinder, is that right?
There's an equivalent of tundra... Tinder.
Is there? Tundra Tinder, I like it. Tindra.
What are they, as an order of mammal?
-Deer, they are deer.
What the deer's mating season?
-The males called it...
One of the things they do in their rut, the males,
is they dig a hole...
-It's the equivalent of wearing a smart jacket.
..and they urinate into the hole,
and then they pull all the...
-pissy mud, let's call it...
..all around their legs and all around their bodies.
-They cover themselves in urine-soaked mud.
And they go a little distance from the hole and they sit down.
They wait for the female to come -
who, as a female would, would go,
"I like the smell of this."
-It's muddy and it's...
Just a little touch of piss.
And they get in there and cover themselves in that mixture
-and then mating happens.
-And then he says, "Fancy a bunk up?"
But before that, they've got to go through the other rutting procedure,
which is why they've got antlers, and that's fighting with other males.
So, after they've fought with the males and won,
then they have the honour of pissing in the mud.
-Is that their prize?
-It's nature's way of telling them...
I would just take a dive if I was in that situation.
If that's the reward, you know, mate, I don't fancy pissy mud today.
I'm just going to go down.
Are there any female moose that aren't necessarily drawn in
by the toxic, heady brew of urine,
mud and some slightly wonky antlers?
If there are, unfortunately they'll probably die out
because the only ones that mate are the ones that go in for this,
-and they pass on their genes.
-What does it smell like?
As bad as it sounds, I fear.
Are you moose-curious now?
I am moose-curious.
I want to smell your mud...moosey boy.
Then you can get extra points if you can do what a moose can do,
and that's have each eye moving independently of the other.
-No, I can't do that.
-I actually thought
you were going to say, "Urinate in a muddy hole."
I can do that. I don't know if you can see, but...
like that, you go...
What's your mud pissing like?
Am I doing it?
You don't want to do it. What's the plural of moose?
-Moose, yeah, although it's actually a Cree word,
a Cree Indian word,
and the real plural should be "moosuch", which is rather good.
One moose, two "moosuch".
Sounds quite Yiddish.
-I like it, good word.
Anyway, to impress the females, a moose on the pull
really has to splash out a bit.
The moose is the world's largest deer,
but how might a tiger help an old deer get home?
Do they organise licensed minicabs for free after midnight?
-This is a set-up, isn't it?
-It is, we don't mean an old dear like that.
It's not actually an old lady.
And we can't mention... If we say zebra crossing, then there's
-going to be attraction going off...
-You are far smarter than we are.
I fooled the klaxon, finally!
-It's a dream, isn't it?
-It is a dream.
-So, it's the word "deer" and the letter M. We've had moose.
It may not... Even you...
-..a fine zoologist, you may not have heard of this.
No, muntjac is not it.
-It's Chinese deer that for 1,200 years...
-It's Chinese, dear.
-He said it's Chinese, dear.
-Is it Wednesday?
Oh, I like lager.
He'll have chow mein, he likes it.
I like lager. Do I like lager?
It's been extinct for 1,200 years. In the wild it's been extinct.
-But it was saved actually by the Europeans,
-particularly the British.
I was saying things that begin with M.
Is it a Chinese word?
-Well, it probably originally was.
-Mao Zedong deer.
A good try. A bloody good effort.
-Do you know...?
-It tells the other deer to really think about their failings.
It's milu. Milu is a type of deer.
1,200 years ago, it was made extinct in the wild.
Because the Chinese the antlers were an aphrodisiac.
-Oh, course they did!
-Here we go.
This poor deer was indeed rendered virtually extinct.
A few European travellers smuggled some out of China,
including the 11th Duke of Bedford,
who put them in a park in Woburn Abbey,
-and they've more or less thrived.
-Or is it throve?
And...by the time you got to 1985,
it was decided that maybe they should be reintroduced to China.
The primary problem was they didn't know which part of China
-they came from, there was no record.
-No, of course not.
-Well, it's very diverse as well, Chinese habitat.
So you've got to get it right. And they knew that the milu
liked squashy, marshy places, they swam very well.
And they had wide feet. And it suggested a marshy environment.
And then they thought, well, maybe we should see which animals
they have a little atavistic memory of.
And they played sound tapes to them,
of different animals, a whole list of them -
crows, dogs, tigers, leopards, wolves, bears and lions.
And the one they responded to the strongest was the sound of the tiger.
So, they found an area of China where there were tiger fossils,
because amazingly there are virtually no tigers left alive in China
because their penises are aphrodisiac.
-That's right, but you have to kill them first.
And they found the fossils and a marshy place and they put them there.
Who was responsible?
Is this the Chinese government responsible for this?
I think it was a cooperative thing between Woburn Abbey and China
to bring them back.
Because their record on animal welfare is a little bit shaky.
So I'm amazed that it's going through.
-Now, you were a maths teacher, weren't you?
-I was, yeah.
You'll love this.
OK, could you divide 355 by 113?
-Is that the question you're asking?
-We relied on you.
No, it's actually a Chinese number called milu, same word.
Probably pitched utterly differently.
And it's the Chinese version of pi. What we call pi.
It's not quite as accurate to as many places.
It's easily remembered, actually.
You say how would you remember 355 divided by 113.
If you take the 113 and put it in front,
you've got the first three odd numbers in pairs - 113355.
And the answer, as you see, is pi.
-It proves it because it's in chalk.
-It does, doesn't it?
Did you use chalk as a teacher?
No, actually. We had these interactive whiteboards.
You're so young!
It's so exciting, kids can come up
and press the buttons on the screen, but it takes so long to plan that.
So I switched off all the functionality
and just use it as a regular whiteboard.
I remember when I was at school, you'd get the whiteboard rubber
thrown at you, like a discipline tool.
My teachers liked the blackboard rubber
because they could throw it at you and draw blood.
Land it on the desk in front of you so you get covered in chalk dust.
It's rather unfashionable now, apparently,
violence towards children.
You say it's unfashionable - it's illegal.
Health and safety gone mad.
You say that, we had a situation where there was
a kid in one of my classes being very difficult, so we called
their parents in and said, "Listen, your kid's out of line.
"I think you've done a bad job of bringing him up."
No, we didn't say that...
You internalise that.
And then he said, "Can't you just hit him?"
And I said, "Well, we're not allowed to do that."
And then he said, "What if I gave you a letter..."
"..that said you were allowed to hit him?"
Would it work with the European Court of Human Rights?
"I've got this."
It's in crayon.
-I've got a free pass.
-Well, there you are.
We don't really know what the milu's milieu was,
but we think it involved tigers.
Where would you find the world's most dangerous moustache?
-Oh, look at Selleck there.
Aren't they all dangerous? The reason I'm saying this is because
I've been told that beards and moustaches are a haven for...
-They carry bacteria.
-..disease and bacteria and stuff.
I've started shampooing mine. I use an elderberry shampoo now.
-Yeah, and then I...I...
-And then I use a mango and vanilla oil.
Do you get a lot of fruit-eating birds collecting round here?
Is it a beard or moustache you're saying is dangerous?
I wasn't saying, it was Romesh.
But at the start it was - is a moustache dangerous?
Sorry, that's the question!
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE Oh, good lord!
Is it...is it...?
Can I just point out that this bit of Hitler's moustache, is that...?
That's a shadow.
-Did he cut a bit off there or is that a shadow?
-That's what tipped him over the edge.
-It was, yes.
-He was shaving and...
-So, we're criticising Hitler now, are we?
The more I hear about him, the less I like him.
Of course, we're in a menagerie world here
so this moustache is not belonging to a human being.
-Is it a horse?
A moustache on a shark, that's dangerous.
Is it the moustached lizard?
-Is it the Terry-Thomas gecko?
You could go dragon. It's not a dragon, it's not an iguana.
-The KOMODO dragon.
A gecko. A leaping lizard.
-The Selleck frog.
-The trampolining, amphibious...
-Is the right answer.
-It's a toad?!
It's a toad. It's the moustachioed toad.
-Look at that, that is seriously dangerous.
Look how he's gelled it up.
Those studs... Again, we're back in the rutting world.
-Oh, God, look at that.
-..tear into fellow males
so that you can get the right mate.
And then give the worst snog of all time.
-Well, it lives in China.
-Of course it does. Not for long.
And in the mating season...
The moustache has medicinal properties?
-And in the mating season, it builds up its forearms...
..partly for combat, but also for mating -
for the grasping the female.
And then it grows this moustache and then they fight a male rival
at the bottom of the river stream over a particular female -
and they aim for each other's stomachs to rip at them.
Really, it's nasty business.
90% of toads involved in this kind of combat are injured,
so it's a really pretty...
God, it make you grateful to be a human, doesn't it, sometimes?
-Really? That's your life?
Underwater stomach ripping?
Being intestinally jarred by someone's weird, pointy moustache.
-Not for me.
-When they then get the female,
they fertilise the eggs the female has laid,
they get a little rock and they have to stay on the rock
or another male might challenge them for the rock
and fertilise the spare eggs and then, when they are hatched...
-It sheds its horns.
-..it sheds its moustache...
-Its love horns.
-..and goes around clean-shaven.
-The Emei. E-M-E-I.
But there are other moustachioed animals,
some of them quite extraordinary. There's the Leucauge mariana
female spider, prefers to mate with a male with hairy front.
A hairy front!
-With a moustache, exactly.
-Nobody wants hairy mandibles.
A whiskered front, exactly.
If a male tickles a female with its little whiskers,
it is more likely to continue mating and to produce a genital plug.
-A genital plug?
-A genital plug.
Is that something... An advert for your genitals?
I could keep my genitals a plug, they're pretty good.
Let's all Google that now.
"You're here to plug your genitals, come on."
Just see what comes up if you put "genital plug" into a search engine.
A genital plug is when the female, after mating, then produces
this bung at the end of its entrance to stop other males from mating,
so that it guarantees the successful male will pass on its genes.
-Is it nature's chastity belt?
-Kind of, yes.
Afterwards, a male spider that tries to mount her and mate
will find it's rebuffed by the genital plug.
-Oh, nothing hurts more than a plug!
As you know, the whole aim of a male is to pass on its genes.
-That's what it's all about.
-Not with a genital plug, it won't.
-Now available from Tesco.
Because scientists are interesting creatures, arachnologists,
I suppose, they tested to see how useful these hairs were on the male
by shaving some of the males
and the shaved males aroused less interest in the females.
Who's funding this research?
This must be Lottery winners who are going, "Yeah, shave a spider.
"Brilliant. That was brilliant."
Surely, on an evolutionary level,
surely the lady spider would want to get as many men as possible.
What the female wants to do is to attract the strongest, bravest,
-biggest of the species.
Because the eggs can only be fertilised once.
But you'd want the spider that goes, "Bung? That's nothing to me!"
That's true, actually, that's probably true.
ALAN MAKES POPPING NOISE
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
No, no, no. I think it's probably more like...
-A little pucker.
-Exactly, but not straight out.
In a few million years, that will happen.
That the male spiders will evolve...
She can't wait that long with a bung in her.
"I'm sorry, love, I've got a plug in, I'm sorry."
A Glade plug-in.
A Glade plug-in!
-Well, you won't get...
-That's where they got the name from.
There's another spider with a moustache,
and that's the brown huntsman.
It has a luminous white moustache, or yellowy white.
-What do you think its purpose is?
-Is it a draught excluder?
Well, there are two things animals have to do.
-Sex and eat.
-This one is food.
-Does it attract things?
-Moths, because it's luminous.
Oh, I see, right.
So, the moth sees that little luminous moustache
and ignores the hideousness...
-..of the rest of that creature.
It looks like the worst thing I've ever seen in my life,
"but, oh, it's glowing!
Well, it is night, you see.
-So, by the time the moth is close up, it's too late. Grrr!
But it's a horrible last few seconds for that moth.
It's the realisation, "Oh, shit!"
Now, we all know there are perfectly good reasons
for shaving a toad or a spider,
but why would you want to shave the monkey?
Do you know it?
To find out if it was the Antichrist.
Have the 666 or related number, according to...
Is it some sort of, like, monkey stag do?
-He goes to sleep and they shave him completely.
-And then he'll wake up and go, "Ha-ha-ha(!)"
-It's not that.
SLOWLY: It's like this with extreme slowness and laziness...
-Are you a lazy monkey?
I would be languid...
-Where do you find langur monkeys?
That one in the middle does not look lazy.
-The word is langur.
-That's what they're called.
Do they like Madagascar? Do they go there?
I don't think so. It's all lemurs, I think. They're India.
There's a lot of them. Such a lot that there's a real problem.
They're considered an infestation
and so Indian authorities decided they would try something,
-You shave the leader of a particular troop of langurs...
-..the alpha male...
..and rather than him being expelled and another male taking his place,
-the group disbands.
And that sort of solves the problem of the infestation
because they're a damn nuisance. Pests, they're considered.
I mean... In their own place, the jungle...
-They can be quite scary.
Amazing, leaping through trees.
Once they get habituated to humans, they pull your hair, they bite...
I've got a howler monkey bite here that still aggravates me.
"Oh, poor Stephen." LAUGHTER
-Were you trying to shave it?
For your own wicked purposes?
-I like a smooth monkey myself.
Take it away, take it away, this monkey's too hairy!
Oh, yes, bring him to me. I will shave him.
ALAN JOINS IN
In 2001, several large langurs were employed by the Indian government.
They were paid, in the form of bananas,
and they basically had to police the defence centre
where rhesus macaques were stealing food and paperwork,
-they were pulling women's saris off...
-Very anti-bureaucracy monkeys.
-It was the Ministry of Defence complex.
And so...they were small.
So they got the big langurs to police them, essentially,
and they did. They pushed them out to the post office.
And they've worked there ever since.
The thing is, the baboons in Cape Town,
they have to have monitors because they're protected,
so they can't actually take them out and put them on a perch.
No, it's illegal to kill them.
It's like killing a cow, they are sacred...
in the Hindu religion.
The God, Lord Hanuman, apparently, is the monkey god.
But they're a damn nuisance, so it's very difficult to know what to do
but shaving seems a good answer. Well, there you are!
What's quite interesting about this macaque, while on the subject?
Oh, this is the one that took the picture of itself, is it?
Yes, the selfie macaque.
-The macaque selfie, yes.
-Well done, absolutely right.
This is a macaque type of monkey in Indonesia
that a British photographer took.
Or he did, or did he? That's the question.
Ah, so who owns the copyright of the photo?
-That's the question. The US court decided...
-I'm glad it went that far.
I mean, that surely is a vindication of every legal system.
It's a British photographer, David Slater his name is.
But the Copyright Office said that to be copyrightable,
a work must owe its origin to a human being.
And they've decided this wouldn't.
But of course it does owe its origin to him
because he set a camera up on a tripod, got the exposure correct,
and it so happened that the macaque pressed the button.
But to say that therefore he doesn't have copyright over that picture
-seems a bit extraordinary...
-So every time they use that photo,
they were suggesting he consults the macaque?
Well, it's supposedly uncopyrightable
because copyright law only applies to humans.
But that's human technology, so that's that guy's phone or camera,
-so surely he should have the copyright.
-This is our feeling too.
Which is why we have chosen to pay him for the rights
to the photograph, as you normally do on television.
If something's copyright, you pay...
So, someone said, "We're not paying you, you didn't take it."?
-Some have said that and he's annoyed about it.
-He did a good pose, though.
He did, a terrific pose.
The chap on the right's about to actually take the camera
and that will end it all.
Anyway, how do you titillate this ocelot?
Oh, you can't, surely... Do you?
It's probably vicious, though, isn't it?
I mean, these things will have your arm off, won't they?
Well done for not saying the famous thing of
-"How do you titillate an ocelot?"
-Which is to...?
Oscillate its tit a lot. LAUGHTER
You don't do that.
This is tree ocelot,
which actually is better known by another name
which begins with our themed letter.
There it is. Beautiful animal.
-I've played with one...
A kitten one. ..they're absolutely extraordinary.
-They're called Margays.
Margay. M-A-R-G-A-Y. Margay.
And they are a tree ocelot because, as you can see from that photo,
-they are tree-dwelling.
-Have you shaved it, Stephen?
They are almost unique amongst the cat family in that,
not only can they climb trees headfirst...
They can fell them with axes.
They can descend trees headfirst -
which no other cat, except the cloud leopard, can do.
-God, look at that.
-There they are.
-He's rappelling down...
-He is, isn't he?
-Look at that.
And they do this by revolving their ankles 180 degrees.
-Oh, that is fantastic.
They really are extraordinary and so poised in balance,
but there are not many tree-living cats.
-Are their ankles...?
And the fact that other cats can't is the reason...
The cat stuck in the tree business.
They are stunning.
They live in central and southern America.
They can imitate...
The really rare thing about them, no other cat can do this,
-they can imitate...
-They can imitate...
-All the characters from Coronation Street.
They can imitate Bruce Forsyth.
HE IMITATES BRUCE FORSYTH
They imitate the calls of wild monkeys.
Jimmy Carr laughing.
The pied tamarin is the famous one there.
-Look at that.
-What is that...
head...submerged in fur?
That's a really cute body
-attached to the most hideous head I've ever seen.
Is that another selfie?
That's a selfie stick that it's holding.
It's a pied tamarin. I don't think it usually looks quite as...
Well, odd as that.
-A small little... Like a tree monkey?
Yeah. Cats get stuck in trees because they can't get down again
-or they lose confidence.
-They make such a fuss about it, don't they?
Get down, you twat, you did it yourself!
I throw things at them.
When they fall through the branches, scrabbling away, hilarious!
And when they eventually hit the ground, they'll style it out
as though they meant to do that. "I wanted to get down, actually."
In our beloved capital city alone,
the fire brigade has a lot of trouble.
In 2012, they were rescuing a treed animal every 14 hours.
A waste of public funds.
-Pretty much, isn't it?
-They should do it with a big stick, just jab 'em.
-Half of them are cats, but they've also had
a chimpanzee trapped in a chimney in Tower Hamlets.
A puppy with its head stuck in an exercise machine in Hillingdon.
A puppy's got to work out.
A kitten with its head stuck in a bongo drum in a flat.
-I'd love to see that. I would love to see that.
-A beatnik kitten.
"You've got to get it out, it's cruel." "No, not for a bit."
Anyway, now, for a question about migration,
I'm going to ask you all to take out a map
that you should find beneath your desks.
-There you are.
And you've got some drawing to do on the map.
I want you to draw the extraordinary annual migration
of the North American blue grouse
-as accurately as you can.
-Right. North America. OK, so anywhere...?
Not Alaska, then? Is it Alaska? Could be Alaska?
The point is that I don't tell you until...
-I've got a feeling...
that they want to get to another bit of North America,
-but they go the wrong way...
..and they end up going all the way around the world
-and landing on the other kind of...
-OK, there you go.
Florida for the sun
and then to the Carnival in Rio
and then to Sydney...
By way of Cape Town, is it?
So they go to all the Mardi Gras?
Well, they go to all the Mardi Gras. They're just mad for it.
And then up here, where there's, like,
a cheese-rolling in Britain, they like that.
And then they're just knackered.
and the ones that are still alive, back home.
It's a fantastic route.
I just think that sort of
they go... just on a trip round South America
just to have a look - might as well make a day of it.
-I reckon they go about a mile to the next village.
Well, I think what happens is they start off
and they overshoot, and they end up going completely round,
not hitting any landmass at all, and they think,
"We'll give it one more go," and they end up in Colchester.
They've no idea, but, for millennia they've ended up in Colchester.
And yours... Show the ladies and gentlemen.
Well, wouldn't it be funny if you were right?
You're trying not to smile.
-You're trying not to.
-I don't want to look at it.
-You like it.
-I don't like it. I don't like it.
"Do I like these? I don't like these."
-I don't like it.
-I don't like it!
Stop that. OK.
closest to the truth was Alan.
Not...in your drawing
-but in the remark you...
-My first idea that they leave America,
go round the world and land in America again?
-No. In the remark you just made to Bill.
"I reckon they just..."
Go about a mile to the next village.
It's even less than that.
Its extraordinary migration is 300 yards.
My kind of bird.
I love the thought of them packing their cases...
-Leaving a note for the milkman.
-Are we nearly there yet?
"Unplug the telly!"
Every spring, it goes down to its breeding grounds
and then, in the autumn, it schleps all the way back up the hill again.
-Does it take a long time?
On foot, by the way. Not even flying.
I mean, they are massive, aren't they? Based on those footprints.
The name for the insatiable urge to migrate is Zugunruhe.
It's German for movement and restlessness.
But anyway, where does a marsh warbler go for singing lessons?
-A marsh warbler...?
-Do they copy other birds' songs?
Is it one of those?
-Take a lot of points.
-Come on, points.
APPLAUSE You're absolutely right.
Usually, you think a bird learns its musical repertoire from its parents
and almost all birds do.
The marsh warbler doesn't,
because its parents stop singing before it hatches.
It's got 31 European and 45 African species
in their repertoire.
So, they sound like all the birds of Africa and Europe to us.
And they can switch from one to another...?
Yeah, because they're just imitating all the different ones around them.
Do they have the own distinctive one, or is just a composite?
No. You can never tell it's a marsh warbler by listening.
We can hear one.
MARSH WARBLER SINGS
We might have a bird expert in saying, "Ah, it is imitating the..."
If you got a marsh warbler in and you just played it...
Taylor Swift or something, would it start...?
Because that's your go-to thing, is it?
I've got a marsh warbler, I want to see what this can do.
-Let's get some Taylor Swift...
Swift, oddly enough, great birdies.
No, you're going into dangerous territory there.
Dear, oh, dear.
I'm going to play you a bird song right now...
I had a dream about that the other night.
-I'm going to play you a bird song.
-No need for that.
BIRD SONG What's this?
"Help me. Help me!
"He's shaving me again."
-So, we've got it over there.
-"You can't park here."
That quite close, "Can't park."
-Illegal item in the bagging area.
-Got it. Morepork!
There it is on the left.
It's also a Tasmanian owl but it's called a morepork.
-I thought you had just translated what that meant.
He said, "More pork." Correct. He's asking for more pork.
-He's asking for more pork. Yes.
And we've heard the marsh warbler.
The monotonous lark is so-called cos it's monotonous.
A monotonous lark.
"Come on, we're going on a monotonous lark."
-"We're going on a narrow-boat holiday in Norfolk."
THAT is a monotonous lark.
I went on one of those.
"Oh, that'll will be fun. Let's go on a narrow-boat holiday,"
and everyone was taking turns doing the engine.
Cut to a couple of miles later,
everyone downstairs drinking wine. Me upstairs...
HE MIMICS ENGINE
..for three days.
Three days like that...
HE MIMICS ENGINE
"Do you want a glass of wine, Bill?"
"No, no, I'm fine up here. I'll be fine."
-HE MIMICS ENGINE
-Worst weekend of my life.
I just want you to know that nothing involving Norfolk is ever monotonous.
-The marabou stork...
..is often given the label,
"the ugliest bird in the animal kingdom..."
-That's not fair.
-OK, name an uglier one.
-Don't make me say it.
One of the reasons it's considered so ugly is...
Edwina Currie, really? I wouldn't have gone straight there.
-It was a good choice, wasn't it? I went through a couple.
-It was safer.
It was like you had it...
"Don't make me say it - Edwina Currie."
And I DIDN'T make you say that.
The reason the marabou stork is considered so ugly, perhaps,
is not just its appearance. It's because of its behaviour.
Well, it squirts its excrement onto its legs,
such that... They are black,
but they become white because they get dried on, caked on...
That's laziness, isn't it?
If Montgomery Burns, from The Simpsons, was a bird...
-That would be! You're right.
-That would be it, yeah.
It dumps on its own leg...
-AS MR BURNS:
-Poo on my legs, excellent.
They'll eat just about any creature, living or dead,
along with faeces, scraps, carrion,
human rubbish including shoes and pieces of metal.
They're pretty dodgy creatures.
Marsh warblers just make it up as they go along.
ALAN LAUGHS UNCONTROLLABLY
Now for a question about metamor...
What happened while I was reading...?
I had my back turned to you and I was looking at the blackboard.
Honestly, sir. Nothing, sir.
No, sir, Davies showed me a picture of a penis, sir.
-He showed me that, sir.
-That is not a penis.
-Sir, sir, look at Bailey's drawing of a penis, sir.
I never drew a thing, sir.
What's wrong with his penis if he draws one like that, sir?!
He drew a penis on the world.
He drew a penis on the world!
That's got... That's illegal, isn't it?
Now it's time to stumble blindly into the morass of General Ignorance.
Fingers on buzzers. All right.
Where does a mosquito go to concentrate?
SQUAWK Yes, Bill.
-A blood bank.
Very good. APPLAUSE
-Library? Oh, no, Sue! KLAXON BLARES
Of course, the word "concentrate" can mean different things
and we mean a concentrate...
-Where's the greatest concentration...
-Oh, I see.
..of mozzies? Where?
-Near rivers and things.
Loads of midges in Scotland.
Midges, yes, but these are mosquitoes.
It's that quantity, you don't get that in Africa,
-you don't get that in...
you don't get that in south-east Asia.
You get that only in the Arctic.
Oh. The Arctic. Oh.
In Alaska and Manitoba.
Where there's virtually nothing alive with no blood anywhere.
I've never seen... I've been to Alaska lots
and never seen a mosquito.
-Well, you have to be there at...
-The right time.
Or wrong time, really, yeah.
There's the beauty that is Alaska,
and the standing pools of water
are perfect for mosquito breeding.
Yes, the densest concentrations of mosquitoes in the world
are in the Arctic.
Including all the animals,
on average, how many legs does an animal have?
What's the average number of legs that animals have?
-Oh, you... That's tough...
-All living things.
-..because you've got to balance...
My guess is that most numbers will be in the system.
I mean, there are billions of things like ants, aren't there?
There are. Insects. Gigantic. They have six.
That must bump the average right up.
There are huge numbers of mites and they all have eight.
And then you've got millipedes and centipedes.
-But lots of them have none.
-Worms have got none.
-Stick with that thought.
-So, worms have got no legs.
-Slugs have none.
One! One leg!
-That the closest we've got.
I'm afraid it's not... KLAXON BLARES
-Is it no legs?
Well, it's... 0.01 is the average.
Because there's that many worms.
-Is this cos of fish?
No, it's because of nematodes.
Yeah, they're a sort of worm.
There are ten to the power of 22,
which is a vast number, on Earth.
What is that?!
100 times more than there are mites
and 1,000 times more than there are insects.
There's a parasitic nematode that lives in the human eye...
Oh! My God.
..and it can grow to seven centimetres long,
AUDIENCE GROAN Wahey!
-No, we don't want to see that.
How can you tell if you've got a nematode in your eye?
Would you feel it wriggling around?
Would it be wiggling...? Would you see it moving, for example?
-You'd hear it talking.
-If it's like that, a friend would see it.
A friend would say, "Oh, just a sec till I get the corner of my hanky,
"you've got an... enormous worm in your eye!"
-Yes. Hypocrite. First cast out the nematode in your eye.
Judge not that you be not judged.
Yes, so many animals are completely legless
that the overall average is about 100th of a leg each.
Finally, a question about macropods.
How many legs does a kangaroo have?
Oh, don't say any numbers.
Don't say any numbers.
Do you know my favourite bit in Toy Story?
-It's the dinosaur that's got little arms, right?
And he doesn't want to see something -
something terrible is happening - and he goes,
"Somebody cover my eyes!"
That is a brilliant moment.
I love that bit.
It won't be nought or four either.
"How many legs...?"
How many LEGS has it got?
Well, you won't like this answer, but...
Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, Canada,
corralled red kangaroos through a chamber
which measured the downward forces.
They discovered that kangaroos put their front legs on the ground
and move their back legs forwards
at the same time as they push their tail onto the floor
and use it to propel themselves forward.
The team found that the amount of force from the tail
was as great as that from the other four limbs combined...
-So it's five?
-..making it effectively a fifth leg,
so not just a fifth leg, but the most important of the five.
It's a tail, though, isn't it?
It is a tail, but it's a kind of limb.
Well, if you'd said limbs...
# Hey hey, we're the Monkees. #
-No, no, you can't have that.
-No, he can't. He can't.
He can't have that.
Minus 5 for rank standing impertinence.
The point is, you could cut off - not that you should, obviously -
a kangaroo's forearms or arms
and it could get around perfectly happily
and you could cut off one of its rear legs and even
it could still hop and get around -
but if you cut off its tail, it couldn't...
-You'd be a sadistic bastard.
Which scientist conducted that experiment?
Kangaroos have almost five legs above average,
which brings me to, miraculously, the scores.
Oh, my good night.
Well, nobody managed to push through into a positive number, I'm afraid.
But our least successful on minus 28...
I know why, and it's... Oh, Sue Perkins.
-"I know why."
In third place, on minus 8, is Romesh.
Oh, yes! APPLAUSE
APPLAUSE DROWNS SPEECH
And please don't fall off these dizzy heights.
Alan Davies on minus 3. CHEERING
-Pretty pleased with that.
And our super soaraway winner on minus 1 is Bill Bailey.
So, it's goodnight from Romesh, Sue, Bill, Alan and me.
You have been magnificent, and I want you to stay that way.
Many thanks, and goodnight.