Colors in Nature Quiz

By: Laurie L. Dove

Colors in Nature Quiz
Image: Federico Gambarini/Corbis

About This Quiz

The natural world is full of color, everywhere you look! Do you have the vision to ace this quiz on colors in nature?
What color are a juvenile zebra's stripes?
Brown
Zebras are born white with brown stripes. The zebra's stripes change to black about the time the zebra reaches its first birthday.
Black
White

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What plant provides the primary component of colored newspaper inks?
Senflowers
Eggplant
Soybeans
Soybean oil, which is a derivative of soybeans, is a primary ingredient in colored newspaper inks.

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Which cells of the human eye are color-sensitive?
Rods
Cones
While rod and cone cells are both found in the retina, it is actually the cone cells that are sensitive to color.
Ganglion cells

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How many colors are usually used to describe the visible spectrum for humans?
Five
Six
Seven
Although we see many shades in between, the visible light spectrum is commonly divided into seven separate bands: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

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What is the most common eye color?
Brown
Brown eyes are the most common eye color across the globe. More than 55 percent of the world's population have brown eyes.
Blue
Black

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Which element gives turquoise gems their unique color?
Calcium
Copper
In a turquoise gemstone, the mineral that creates this unique color is copper aluminum phosphate. The copper provides a blue color, while a green hue is provided by a small amount of iron. Together, these colors create turquoise.
Magnesium

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Light from the sun contains only the white and yellow color wavelengths.
True
False
All seven colors are present in sunlight. A prism can be used to separate each color individually.

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The blue appearance of Neptune comes from which gas?
Methane
Methane, which is present in the upper atmosphere of Neptune, reflects blue light from the sun back into space. This gives Neptune its blue appearance.
Hydrogen
Helium

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What is the least common natural hair color?
Blonde
Red
Red hair is the rarest of natural hair colors. Only about two percent of the world's population has naturally occurring red hair.
Brunette

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Which part of the human eye is colored?
Iris
The colored part of the eye is called the iris. Pigmentation within the iris is what determines eye color.
Cornea
Lens

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What color are emu eggs?
Brown
White
Green
Emu eggs are a deep emerald green. Emus lay their eggs in grassy areas, and the green color is designed to keep the eggs camouflaged.

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Why do flamingos have pink feathers?
Genetics
Diet
Flamingos are actually born with grey feathers. Their feathers gradually turn pink when they eat a diet of brine shrimp and algae that contain a pink dye called canthaxanthin.
Salt water

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Which component gives human blood its red color?
Hemoglobin
The hemoglobin molecule in human blood contains iron atoms. It is this iron that makes our blood red.
Platelets
Fibrin

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What animal can see the widest range of color?
Honey bee
Golden eagle
Mantis shrimp
The mantis shrimp is believed to have the widest range of color vision in the animal kingdom. The mantis shrimp have 12 different types of photoreceptors, while humans have just three.

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Which element makes amethyst stones violet?
Vanadium
Manganese
Manganese is the trace element that provides the violet color of amethyst. Manganese appears on the periodic table as Mn and is atomic number 25.
Cobalt

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Tigers have striped skin under their striped fur.
True
Tigers have striped skin that matches their striped fur. The skin with darker pigmentation grows dark-colored fur, while the skin with lighter pigmentation grows light-colored fur.
False

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What color is a polar bear's skin?
White
Black
Polar bears have black skin covered by transparent and pigment-free fur. The fur appears white because it is so efficient at reflecting light.
Brown

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Dogs can see blue-violet and which other color?
Red
Green
Yellow
Cone cells are one of two types of photoreceptor cells in the retina of the eye. Dogs have only one-tenth of the amount of cones cells in their eyes as humans. Because of this, they see only two colors: blue-violet and yellow.

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What color is insect blood?
yellow or green
Insect blood, or hemolymph, is clear with a yellow or green tint. The yellow or green pigment likely comes from plants the insects have eaten.
red
orange

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What is the wavelength range of the color spectrum that is visible to people?
100-400 nanometers
400-700 nanometers
The wavelength of the color spectrum that is visible to people is 400 to 700 nanometers. Violet is on the low end, at 400 nanometers, and red is on the high end at 700 nanometers.
700-1000 nanometers

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Which cells allow cephalopods like squid and cuttlefish to change colors?
Melanocyte
Lymphocyte
Chromatophores
Specialized color-changing cells called chromatophores allow cephalopods to change colors. Each organism has thousands of chromatophores that can be activated at-will, often to hide from predators.

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Why is the sky blue?
Blue light is reflected.
Blue light travels in shorter waves and is reflected, or scattered, by tiny molecules in the Earth's atmosphere to a greater degree than other colors. This gives the sky a blue hue on clear, cloudless days.
White light is reflected.
Blue light is absorbed.

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Which reptile has the ability to change colors?
Gaboon Viper
Leopard Tortoise
Chameleon
Chameleons have specialized skin cells, called iridophore cells, that contain nanocrystals of various sizes and shapes. By exciting or relaxing the skin, and therefore these nanocrystals, the chameleons can change skin colors.

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Which element gives Mars its red appearance?
Rhodium
Iron
The red color of rocks and soil on Mars is due to a high concentration of iron.
Copper

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Why are clouds white?
Reflection
Clouds are white because of reflected light. The water droplets or ice crystals in clouds are large enough to reflect the wavelengths of all seven colors, which combine to make white light.
Absorption
Translucence

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Why do specific breeds of chickens lay brown eggs versus white eggs?
Hen size
Hen diet
Hen genetics
The color of chicken eggs is determined by the hen's genetics. Certain breeds will produce white eggs, while others will produce brown eggs. There's even a type of chicken that will lay blue and green eggs, although the breed is not officially recognized by the American Poultry Association.

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What color of blood do lobsters, snails and spiders have?
Blue
Lobsters, snails and spiders all have blue blood because of an oxygen-carrying molecule called hemocyanin. The central atom of hemocyanin is copper, and when exposed to oxygen, this copper will turn blue.
Red
Yellow

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Goldfish will lose their color if they are kept in a low-light environment.
True
Goldfish pigmentation is adversely affected by inadequate exposure to light.
False

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What is the term used to describe people with two different colored eyes?
Homochromia
Dichromia
Heterochromia
Heterochromia is the term for an individual with different colored eyes. The condition can be caused by injury, disease process or genetics.

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Which pigment is present in all green plants?
Melanin
Chlorophyll
Chlorophyll is present in all green plants and cyanobacteria. The pigment absorbs light to provide energy for photosynthesis.
Anthoxanthin

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You Got:
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Federico Gambarini/Corbis

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