With the festive season in full swing, here are 10 signs that show you’ve fully embraced the most magical time of the year.
1. The “I don’t have to go to work” face.
This October, Bristol will be hosting a comedy night with a difference! If you’re in the UK, join us for a night of laughter and hilarity at Colston Hall, hosted by Simon Watt (Inside Nature’s Giants, the Infinite Monkey Cage) as we seek to delve deep into some of the weirdest creatures on this earth. Move away from the Panda, Tiger and Penguin and think ugly. No animal is too ugly to enter these doors – the floodgates have opened to a new era where ugliness rules! Tickets on sale now at the bargain price of £10.75 – don’t miss out!
Simon Watt is a biologist, writer, science communicator, comedian and TV presenter. He runs Ready Steady Science, a science communication company committed to making information interesting and takes science based performances into schools, museums, theatres and festivals. Simon also runs the Ugly Animal Preservation Society which is a comedy night with a conservation twist.
English writer, comedienne and actress Sara Pascoe has appeared on Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Stand Up for the Week and QI. Sara started stand-up in late 2007 and the following year was a runner-up in the Funny Women competition and placed third in the So You Think You’re Funny? new act competition.
Aussie comic Bec Hill hails from Adelaide and started comedy in 2006 at the tender age of 19, when she made the national finals of the Raw new act competition. Two years later made her solo debut at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival with her show If You Can Read This My Cape Fell Off. The show won her a Critic’s Choice Award and a plethora of positive reviews, and, buoyed by success, she voyaged to the UK to take part in the Edinburgh Fringe.
Having received glorious reviews for her Edinburgh shows from the likes of Chortle and The Scotsman, Hill is now firmly based in the UK. She continues to impress on the live circuit and has set up a bi-monthly pun-based comedy night called Pun-Run, which has become a hit with seasoned comics and punters alike.
Thinking that she’d left her geek past behind after graduating in Physics from Imperial College, Helen Arney proved herself wrong when she turned to writing original and funny songs inspired by science. Since touring the UK in Uncaged Monkeys with Robin Ince and Brian Cox, she’s popped up on Channel 4, BBC 2, BBC Radio 3, Radio 4, 5 Live and 6 Music, and at the Edinburgh Fringe with her award-winning solo show ‘Voice of an Angle’.
Helen also presents science on Discovery Channel in ‘You Have Been Warned’ and has filled several notebooks with rhymes for Uranus.
Dan Schreiber is co-producer/ creator of BBC’s The Museum of Curiosity and a stand-up comedian. He also co-hosts the podcast ‘No Such Thing as a Fish’ and is one of the notorious ‘Elves’ – more commonly known as researchers – on BBC 2′s QI.
Sarah Bennetto is a stand-up comic from Melbourne, Australia, now living and performing in the UK. She has appeared on stage, radio and television as a stand-up comic and presenter, and is responsible for experimental comedy collective Storytellers’ Club.
Since living in London, Sarah regularly pops up on the radio, and hosts a radio show for WorthyFM, live from the Glastonbury Music Festival. Sarah has hosted Storytellers’ Club and performed stand-up comedy at festivals around the country. On television, she has appeared on ITV’s Take The Mic and Dara O’Briain’s School of Hard Sums.
Elf Lyons is a stand-up comedian, writer, director and actress. She is a founder member and compere of “The Secret Comedians”, a small comedy collective which she started when studying at Bristol University, and has since transferred to East London. She is also a co-director of OddFlock, a London based theatre company made up of a group of Drama graduates from the University of Bristol. She was Funny Women Finalist & Runner Up in 2013.
Recently, the saiga, an odd-looking Critically Endangered antelope of the Mongolian steppes, was highlighted in the media due to a sharp-eyed Star Wars fan noticing its striking resemblance to some of the characters from the series. This discovery led to a surge of interest in the species and the various threats to its survival.
The saiga is not the only animal with more than a passing resemblance to creatures from the Star Wars galaxy. To celebrate Star Wars Day on May 4th, we attempted to seek out even more lookalikes from the natural world. Can you guess which Star Wars characters we think these species resemble?
Hint 1: You don’t want to owe him a debt
Hint 2: Always seen with the previous character
Hint 3: It’s a carp!
Hint 4: Much larger in Star Wars
Hint 5: Natives of Endor
Hint 6: They hope it isn’t a cold night
Hint 7: Aggrrttaaggrrttaaggrrttaaggrr!
Hint 8: With you the fourth May be!
These amazing creatures highlight the many unique gifts that the biodiversity of Earth gives us. The vast array of morphologies and lifestyles on Earth has influenced human creativity throughout history, from ancient mythology through to science fiction. Whether we realise it or not, all of us draw inspiration from the creatures around us and the world would be a much drabber place without these weird and wonderful animals. Why not see if you can find any other lookalikes, and leave a comment below.
Answers: 1. Jabba the Hutt, 2. Salacious B. Crumb, 3. Admiral Ackbar, 4. The Acklay, 5. Ewok, 6. Tauntaun, 7. Wookie, 8. Yoda
Ben Hogan, Wildscreen ARKive PIPS Intern
There are so many styles of human dance around the world, which may be used for portraying emotion, fitness, communicating a message, fighting or even just for fun. We are not alone, as many members of the animal kingdom shake, groove, boogie and wiggle their way to getting what they want. Although we use the term ‘dance’ loosely, there are some species who definitely know how to get down.
There always seems to be someone in a crowd who thinks jumping up and down constitutes dancing, subsequently annoying everyone else around them. We think that Verreaux’s sifaka could be ‘that guy’ of the animal kingdom.
Twerk it out
You would be seriously wrong in thinking that ‘twerking’ is a recent phenomenon, as the male wire-tailed manakin has been using it to attract females for years. We reckon this bird could give Miley Cyrus a serious run for her money.
Got it on tap
You wouldn’t really want this expert tapper hitting the dancefloor…it would leave some serious trip hazards behind!
Reaching dizzy new heights
Spins are a vital part of any dance routine. Although this cetacean doesn’t seem to have much trouble, we don’t know how many of these spins we could do before toppling over!
Ready to rock
It takes some seriously strong neck muscles to headbang your way through a whole gig, but this Temminck’s tragopan looks pretty hardcore.
Break it down
You’ve seen the worm, the toprock and the windmill numerous times, but this mustelid is bringing some original flava to the streets and has created its own breakdancing move – the stoat.
Made you look
A question has plagued mankind for millennia: when slow-dancing with someone at the school disco where should you look? Should you look them in the eye? Or is that too intense? Should you look away? But then it might seem like you’re not ‘in the moment’ or you’re checking someone else out. Should you look down? But then they might notice the roots you were supposed to have dyed weeks ago. Although we can’t answer this age-old query, at least we know we’re not alone, as this pair of great crested grebes seem to be having the same problem.
Right on time
This poor pair of Laysan albatrosses just don’t quite seem to be able to get their dance routine in time. Maybe they should stick to their day job and leave the dancing to the professionals.
Corps de crane
Poise, grace and elegance are three attributes necessary for all ballerinas. We can imagine the common crane stepping up to the barre and arabesquing, cabrioling and sissonning with the best of them.
With the large crowds and lack of personal space involved in their courtship dancing, these Andean flamingos probably wouldn’t feel out of place at a rave! Their neon-pink colouration means they wouldn’t even need to take their own glow sticks!
Let us know your favourite salsa-dancing, hip-wiggling, bunny-hopping, booty-shaking, shoulder-shimmying species!
Hannah Mulvany, ARKive Content Officer.
Today marks Saint Patrick’s Day, a day that traditionally involves the wearing of green. To celebrate, we thought we’d have a look at species on ARKive that are already dressed for the occasion!
Join us as we delve into the animal kingdom and explore the world of all things green…
This large, stunning macaw is certainly dressed to impress! The great green macaw has particularly vibrant plumage, with a green body and wings, a scarlet red patch on the forehead, blue patches on the wings, and an orange and blue tail. It lives in rainforests in Central and northern South America, where it is an important ‘flagship’ species for the conservation of its habitat.
One of the largest and most widespread of all marine turtles, the green turtle is actually named for the green colour of its fat and connective tissue, rather than its outward appearance. This large reptile takes up to 40 years to reach maturity, and some individuals migrate over 2,000 kilometres to reach their breeding grounds.
Like all tiger beetles, the green tiger beetle has long legs and is a fast runner. This species is named for its beautiful iridescent green body, and is also patterned with yellowish spots on its wing cases. The adult green tiger beetle is a fearsome predator of other invertebrates, and its larvae are also predatory, digging pits in the ground to trap unwary prey.
The beautiful common green darner is one of North America’s most common and widespread dragonflies, and is one of very few dragonfly species known to migrate. A large insect, it has a green head and thorax, and a distinctive ‘bull’s-eye’ mark on its forehead. The name ‘darner’ is thought to come from the long, narrow abdomen of these dragonflies, which somewhat resembles a darning needle in shape.
A popular reptile in captivity, the green iguana is, as its name suggests, usually a shade of green, although bright orange individuals also occur. This large lizard has an impressive spiny crest along its back and tail, and typically lives in trees, where it feeds on leaves and flowers. However, the green iguana is also a capable swimmer, and may dive into water to escape predators.
A small, chunky bird with a short, stumpy tail, the green broadbill occurs in parts of Asia and feeds mainly on fruit. As its name suggests, it has a particularly wide beak and mouth. The brilliant green plumage of this species provides it with excellent camouflage in its forest home.
The green and golden bell frog is a large, robust frog with pale green upperparts which are blotched with metallic golden or brassy-brown markings. Despite being a member of the tree frog family, this species spends most of its time on the ground or in water. The call of the green and golden bell frog has been likened to the sound of a motorbike changing gears!
Although not the world’s longest snake, the green anaconda is certainly the largest when its large girth is also taken into account. Growing up to nine metres in length, this semi-aquatic giant has olive-green upperparts marked with dark spots, giving great camouflage. It can take prey up to the size of deer, capybaras and even fully grown caimans, killing its prey by constricting it in its coils before swallowing it whole.
The green sturgeon is one of the largest and longest-lived freshwater fish, with a lifespan of around 70 years. This unusual species has remained almost unchanged for over 200 million years, and its rows of bony plates give it a prehistoric appearance. Its body is usually olive to dark green, with olive-green stripes, and although it breeds in freshwater it spends most of its life in the ocean.
Although perhaps not the most obviously green-looking species, the green monkey is nonetheless named for the greenish tinge to its golden fur. This West African monkey is highly social and usually occurs in large groups, spending its time both in the trees and on the ground. Although native to Africa, the green monkey has been introduced to some Caribbean islands.
These species give just a taster of the many shades of green worn by animals on ARKive. Of course, plants have a natural advantage when it comes to dressing up in this popular colour!
Why not join the Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations and check out some more of ARKive’s green species for yourself? Let us know if you have a favourite!
Liz Shaw, ARKive Text Author