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Bird / Crocodile Dentistry

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1222568.  Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:15 pm Reply with quote

I was shocked, shocked I tell you, to hear the great Sandi T reading a rare but glaring error from QI. Birds dont pick teeth? What!? I knew this was incorrect because of a kids educational tv show called Seseme Street which has since its earliest year 1969 featured a recurring seqment with extensive video footage of birds picking at crocodiles teeth, while the living crocodile has its mouth wide open, as described by herodotus and several 18th and 19th century writers. In fact if you google "birds cleaning teeth" you will see many videos of birds cleaning the teeth, skin, and wounds of many large dangerous animals such as crocodiles, hippos, water buffalos etc. Also the top result is wikipedias page on cross species tooth cleaning which is frequent among birds, fish and others. Perhaps your researchers were thinking of the controversy surrounding the reasons for this behavior. While Herodutus and others assumed it to be a symbiotic behavior for obvious reasons, many scientists doubt that, and the view that it is actually parasitic behavior is widely debated. The answer to that is unknown, but the behavior definitely is real! (Although the crocodile teeth example is rare, its common enough to see many videos online, not photoshopped!) i am very surprised that qi researchers dont bother with a simple Google search or wikipedia before putting a "fact" into a TV script. Its hard to see how this could possibly occur if you actually follow the fact checking process described on the website. Perhaps this one slipped through the cracks?

Last edited by BirdDDS on Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:55 pm; edited 3 times in total

1222569.  Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:19 pm Reply with quote

Spud McLaren
1222570.  Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:20 pm Reply with quote

Is a crocodike a lesbian crocodile?

1222571.  Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:50 pm Reply with quote

here is video. Note the croc blinking and the uppermost bird, not photoshop. Maybe not really symbiotic but maybe its Dr. bird DDS dentistry, the answer to that is uncertain science at this point.

1222572.  Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:51 pm Reply with quote

Spud Thanks for the helpful proofreading, my window is so tiny i cant see my own typos clearly.

Spud McLaren
1222573.  Sun Jan 22, 2017 6:05 pm Reply with quote

Y'welcome. It wasn't meant maliciously. Welcome to the QI forum!

1222575.  Sun Jan 22, 2017 6:33 pm Reply with quote

Its good to be here. Thanks for the welcome! Took a whike to get it set up but its worth it! :)

1222718.  Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:54 am Reply with quote

BirdDDS wrote:
if you google "birds cleaning teeth" you will see many videos of birds cleaning the teeth, skin, and wounds of many large dangerous animals such as crocodiles, hippos, water buffalos etc.

BirdDDS wrote:
here is video. Note the croc blinking and the uppermost bird, not photoshop.

That's an interesting video. There's something a little odd about it to my eyes, but I can't quite put my finger on what it might be.

I'm interested, though. If there are, as you say, many videos on the subject, would you mind posting another one?

1224378.  Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:18 pm Reply with quote
David Attenborough

1224380.  Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:19 pm Reply with quote

Rhino earwax

1224383.  Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:27 pm Reply with quote

Girraffe teeth

1224384.  Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:29 pm Reply with quote

Domestic bird dentist treats domestic dog teeth

1224536.  Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:37 am Reply with quote

For the benefit of a poor soul who seems to have missed the episode we're talking about, can you remind me precisely what Sandi is alleged to have said?

Or just let me know what episode it was in so I can find out for myself on iPlayer.

1228779.  Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:10 pm Reply with quote

So I looked at the videos you put as evidence of there being birds that clean teeth. Firstly, the fact that there are birds that clean other animal's teeth is not in question: animals like hippos and giraffes do have birds that clean their teeth. What was said on QI was that there never were birds that clean crocodile's teeth, and on that point, your evidence is flawed. The video you linked to is a clip from a commercial for chewing gum (i think, I couldn't find a version with subtitles and I don't recognize the language). The birds and the crocodile are the product of 3D animation. The fact that the ad was made with quite detailed model animals and that the video quality isn't that good makes it all too easy to mistake them for real unless you've seen the steps of animating before. That's why some of the birds movements are repetitive to the pixel, and their movements are staggered and unnatural (as other people pointed out before me) : to save time and money. This is especially noticeable if you observe the movements of the bird that goes into the top jaw carefully ; can you see how its motions are very crisp and it seems to glide further into the mouth? It's artificial-looking.
Here's the link for the full commercial :

PS : Sorry if my spelling is bad, a mix of a french autocorrect and nous one to point out my mistakes for 7 years has made my English a bit rusty around the edges

1228783.  Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:20 pm Reply with quote

Sounds like Japanese to me... Interesting point though - thank you and welcome, K9-Tails.


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