28/01/2015 06:14 GMT | Updated 20/05/2015 06:12 BST

Sir David Attenborough Says A Human Baby Is The Most Astonishing Creature On Earth


Sir David Attenborough has revealed the animal that fascinates him more than any other – a nine-month-old human baby.

After a 60 year career travelling the world filming every exotic animal you could possibly imagine, the wildlife legend has come to the conclusion that there is nothing more amazing than a bouncy, gurgling, plumptious, cute-as-a-button baby.

Sir David, 88, made the revelation after he was asked what he thought was the most astonishing creature on Earth, to which the father-of-two replied:

"The only creature that really makes my jaw sag so much that I find it hard to stop looking is a nine-month-old human baby.

"The rate at which it grows. The rate at which it learns. The rate at which is acquires nerves. It is the most complex and the most extraordinary of all creatures. Nothing compares to it."

The broadcaster also said that he was amazed by the intelligence of creatures like the raven and the octopus.

He said: "Octopus are the most extraordinarily intelligent animals.

"And ravens. I had a friend who had a raven and I watched it being given a bottle with a piece of meat in it. And straightaway it dipped it in a pond and shook out the food. It took all of 30 seconds.

"I said to its owner, 'you must have trained it to do that' but he said that it had learned to do it on its own in about two minutes."

The presenter also said he was fond of the weedy seadragon, a type of seahorse which is perfectly adapted to blend in with seaweed.

He said: "If you have never seen the mating dance of the weedy seadragon then life still has wonderful surprises in store for you."

Sir David was speaking at the launch of his new series Natural Curiosities which will be broadcast on Watch from February 2.

The first programme looks at the incredible feats attributed to animals like the cheetah which is said to run at speeds of more than 70mph.

He said: "The man who made the original claim that cheetahs run at that speed used a bicycle wheel, a stop watch and a piece of string. It was very unscientific.

"We found that the cheetah doesn't run at 70mph. It's more like 58mph. But it's still the fastest creature on Earth."

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