One Nocturn Deserves Another

Sep 27, 2019
Originally published on September 27, 2019 1:34 pm

Inspired by the 1.5 million bats living under the Congress Bridge in Austin, this audio quiz invites contestants to guess which night-time critter they're listening to.

Heard on Matthew McConaughey: Commerce And Vanity.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Our next game is about things that come out at night, such as my anxieties about things from my past, like that guy in high school who saw me naked from just the waist down.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: OK. So after a fun day at Austin's nude park, you can spend the night watching 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats emerge from under the Congress Avenue Bridge.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Oh, yeah. So this audio quiz is about other creatures that are active at night. And the points are doubled. Letty, stay in the lead, and you're in the final round. Natasha, you need to get more points, or we'll trap you under the Congress Avenue Bridge...

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: ...At night with actual members of Congress.

(LAUGHTER)

NATASHA BAKER-BRADLEY: Worse than bats.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) Here we go. Take your garbage out at night, and you might run into this little trash panda. It uses its tiny hands with loads of sensory receptors to see the items it picks up in the dark.

(SOUNDBITE OF RACCOON CHATTERING)

EISENBERG: Natasha.

BAKER-BRADLEY: Raccoon.

EISENBERG: Yeah, that's a raccoon.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: The jaguar is one of two North American big cat species. This is the other one. It's also the last feline a version of Mac OS X was named after before Apple switched to places in California.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOUNTAIN LION ROARING)

EISENBERG: Natasha.

BAKER-BRADLEY: Mountain lion.

EISENBERG: Mountain lion is correct. Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: I believe after places in California, Apple is switching to all the actors who have played "Batman."

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: It's a lot of versions. This social member of the canine family has a sense of smell 100 times better than yours.

(SOUNDBITE OF WOLVES HOWLING)

EISENBERG: Sounds like a good time - Letty.

LETTY LEAL EVANS: Wolf.

EISENBERG: That is a wolf. Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Gray wolf - and Jon Snow forgot to pet all of them.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: The name for this large animal comes from the Greek for river horse. It's lack of true sweat glands combined with the hot sun helps explain why it does most of its business at night.

(SOUNDBITE OF HIPPOPOTAMUS GRUNTING)

EISENBERG: Letty.

LEAL EVANS: Hippopotamus.

EISENBERG: Yeah. That's a hippopotamus.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Have you seen the video recently where someone throws a watermelon in a hippopotamus' mouth?

JONATHAN COULTON: A whole watermelon - yeah.

EISENBERG: Yeah. And it just (imitating chewing).

COULTON: (Laughter) That's kind of amazing.

EISENBERG: And watermelon goes everywhere. Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Sometimes, we do this. We just catch up.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Yeah. We just talk about YouTube videos for about 20 minutes.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) Yeah. Exactly. This is your last clue. This bird of prey can swivel its head around 270 degrees.

(SOUNDBITE OF OWL HOOTING)

EISENBERG: Letty.

LEAL EVANS: Owl.

EISENBERG: That is an owl.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: All right - great game. Letty, you are moving on to the final round.

(CHEERING, APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Coming up, Matthew McConaughey is here. We asked him if he wanted to play a game with us. And he said, all right.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I'm Ophira Eisenberg. And this is ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.