If We Give You an Animal and a Town, Can You Name the State?



By: Beth Hendricks

6 Min Quiz

Image: AYImages / E+ / Getty Images

About This Quiz

We are definitely a "united" 50-state union, but we're also made up of many unique and varied places. California is not exactly like Oklahoma, and Oklahoma is not exactly like Vermont. And that's what makes us special! Each state, from the West Coast to the East, has certain symbols or markers that help set it apart from not only its neighbors, but also states in other parts of the country. 

Take New York, for instance. New York's state fruit is an apple (for the Big Apple, perhaps?) and its nickname is the "Empire State," an homage to its vast resources and representation as a center of wealth and prosperity for the country. It couldn't be more different from Utah, whose state animal is an elk (won't see too many of those roaming around New York City) and whose state nickname is "The Beehive State," an ode to its hardworking citizens as well as its state insect.

Not only do states lay claim to insects, nicknames, birds and mottos, among other things, but they also can be closely married to animals that represent a part of their heritage or culture. And it got us thinking: If we gave you an animal (and a place name, for good measure), could you identify the state? Some are pretty simple, but others are a bit trickier. See what type of U.S. geographer you are by pairing places and (animal) faces!

It's not inconceivable that you could run into a black bear in this state, although probably not in Charleston. Where are you?

Charleston is the state capital of West Virginia and pretty urban, so you're unlikely to stumble upon the Mountain State's state animal. Venture a bit outside of Charleston, however, and all bets are off.


We've got a question: "Juneau" which state considers the moose its official animal?

See what we did there? Juneau is Alaska's state capital and one of its most populous cities. Alaska's Department of Fish and Game claims there are approximately 200,000 moose (that's the plural of "moose") across its very large state.


Greek folklore referred to a phoenix as a bird, not this state's capital city. What state are we referencing?

Legend says that a phoenix was a bird that had the power to rise from the ashes of a bird that died before it. Today, we think of Phoenix as the capital of Arizona and a home to all four professional sports franchises. You DID know that, didn't you?


This state, home to San Jose, features a grizzly bear on its state flag. Which of these is it?

California is proud of its bears — so much so that it placed the bear on its state flag. Though the picture of the bear varied in the early years, it was standardized in the mid-1950s to the image we recognize today.


Bighorns and Boulder are two things you'll find in which of these states?

Boulder, Colorado, sits at the base of the Rocky Mountains, a perfect perch from which you can perhaps catch a glimpse of the state's official animal, the Rocky Mountain Bighorn, a type of sheep. Boulder also features the Fountain Formation and the Flatirons, made of flat rock slabs.


The sperm whale played a big role in the history of this state, where New London sits as a port. What state are we talking about?

Years ago, the state of Connecticut was heavily involved in the whaling industry, so the sperm whale (think Herman Melville's "Moby-Dick") is an ode to that part of the state's history. Sperm whales are currently categorized as endangered.


This state is crazy like a fox — a grey fox, that is. Where can you also find the city of Dover?

The grey fox is a relatively new "official" state animal for Delaware, having been chosen only in 2010. The recommendation came from a group of fourth-graders. Lawmakers in Delaware's capital of Dover made it official.


A hockey team in this state, home to Tallahassee, bears the name "Panthers," the state's official animal. Where is it located?

With thousands of miles of coastline in Florida, your first inclination about its wildlife population might trend toward the aquatic. But it's the panther that earned the state animal designation, a decision made in the state's Tallahassee capital.


Oh "deer," you simply must visit Savannah when you're in which of these states?

Did you know that the white-tailed deer is the state animal of Georgia (and a whole lot of other states, too)? Georgia has a lot of great stops to add to your next itinerary, including the undeniably charming Savannah.


You're more likely to see a volcano in Volcano than the endangered species known as the monk seal in which of these locales?

It's true! There's really a place in Hawaii known as Volcano, and, yes, it borders Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The state's official animal, the monk seal, is native to Hawaii. It is one of only two types of monk seal alive today.


You can find the Appaloosa horse on this state's specialty license plate, which you'll see an abundance of in its most populous city, Boise. Where are we?

Boise, Idaho, is not only the state's capital but also its most populous city. The Appaloosa, which is native to Idaho, is the Dalmatian of the horse world, with its distinctive spotted coat.


The oldest Morgan horse breeding herd in the world is located in Burlington in which of these states?

The Morgan Horse Farm is located at the University of Vermont in Burlington. It houses the world's oldest breeding herd of this breed of horse. The Morgan horse was named Vermont's state animal in the early 1960s.


You can almost envision American buffalo running across the plains of this state, and maybe even through Wichita (or not)! What state are we talking about?

OK, OK, there probably won't be a herd of buffalo (or bison) trampling through Kansas' most-populous city of Wichita in today's climate. But years ago, when Kansas was more plains than people, we could totally see it happening!


The racehorse isn't this state's official animal, but don't tell that to people in Louisville. Where are we?

Kentucky is well known for its association with horses — racehorses, in particular, which you can find plenty of at Churchill Downs in Louisville. For some reason, though, the state's official animal is a gray squirrel, although they do have a "state horse" as well — the Thoroughbred.


You might cross paths with an armadillo in Amarillo in this state. Which one is it?

There are lots of things that define Texas: stars, cowboys ... armadillos! The state's official small animal is the nine-banded armadillo. Of course, being Texas, they couldn't stop at just one, so they also have an official large state mammal, state dog, state reptile, state dinosaur AND state flying mammal.


There's a pretty popular badger in Madison, located in this state. Where is it?

If you made the connection between the University of Wisconsin in Madison and the school's official mascot, the badger, you're one smart cookie! The badger is also Wisconsin's official state animal.


This state, home to Annapolis, has an official state crustacean, the blue crab. Which of these is it?

If you manage to get invited to a Maryland crab boil, you are lucky indeed! Situated off Chesapeake Bay, Maryland found it most fitting to have a state crustacean, which they designated in 1989.


"Whale," what a surprise: In which state can you find Salem?

Massachusetts, another whaling state, adopted the North Atlantic right whale as its symbolic marine mammal in 1980, roughly 300 years after its infamous Salem witch trials. (Yeah, we know, those things don't really go together, do they?)


There's a whole passel of wolverines in Ann Arbor, located in which of these states?

In fairness, this is a trick question. The only wolverines in Ann Arbor are the ones that don the maize and blue of the University of Michigan. Plus, the official state animal of Michigan is the white-tailed deer, not the wolverine. But be aware that wolverines are a real thing — a terrifying cross between a bear and a weasel — living in northern parts of North America, Europe and Asia.


Head west, and you'll find Provo and elk who call the mountain ranges of this state home. Where are we?

Utah is home to numerous elk, specifically Rocky Mountain elk, which inhabit its many mountain ranges. You'll find Provo in the Utah Valley, just south of Salt Lake City, near the Wasatch Mountains.


This state has a water mammal, the bottlenose dolphin, which you might catch a glimpse of in Gulfport. What state are you in?

You may forget that Mississippi has beaches, but then, you've never been to Gulfport, have you? Situated on the Gulf of Mexico, Mississippi chose an official water mammal, the dolphin, which is at home in gulf waters.


You could visit Branson in this state, which served as the country's No. 1 mule producer for decades. Which state is it?

Missouri was renowned for years for supplying mules to all different parts of the country. Today, the state is best known for the St. Louis Gateway Arch and the tourist destination Ozark town of Branson.


This Missoula-based university's mascot is a grizzly bear. What state are we in?

Which came first, Montana's official state animal, the grizzly bear, or the University of Montana's mascot? It doesn't really matter, does it? The university is located in Missoula, and its mascot is named Monte.


Coyotes are prevalent in this state, particularly in Rapid City in the foothills of the Black Hills. What state is it?

South Dakota is home to many interesting sights, including Mount Rushmore, Rapid City and the Black Hills Mountain Range, where coyotes have been known to scamper. The coyote was named the state's official animal in 1949.


Home to Reno and bighorn sheep, this state is also known for its busy bees. Which one are we talking about?

Nevada is home to both Reno and Las Vegas, popular tourist destinations, but it is the hardworking nature of its people that earned it its state nickname, the Beehive State. You'll find a beehive on both the state's official seal and flag. Nevertheless, the state animal is the bighorn sheep.


The big-eared bat earned this state's nomination for official animal, to help educate its residents about animals that live in caves like Luray Caverns in, well, Luray. What state is it?

Eek! A bat as a state's official animal? Virginia did it in 1995, in part to help educate its citizens about the animals that live in the state's many caverns, like Luray Caverns in Luray, in the northwest part of the state.


The United States Equestrian Team's headquarters is situated in Gladstone in which of these states?

Gladstone, New Jersey, is home to the U.S. Equestrian Team, which relocated there after being founded in another New Jersey city: Morristown. In 1977, New Jersey lawmakers made it official, dubbing "the horse" its official state animal.


Black bears and Birmingham go hand in hand to represent which of these U.S. states?

Travel south to Alabama, and you'll run into Birmingham (but, hopefully, no black bears). The state chose the black bear as its official animal in 2006. Birmingham is Alabama's most populated city — mostly by humans, not bears.


This state shares an official animal, the beaver, with another state on the West Coast, but Neversink is all theirs. Which state is it?

New York isn't the only state to recognize the beaver as its official state animal, but it IS the only state with a uniquely-named town called Neversink. Neversink sits alongside the appropriately-named Neversink River, which is a great place to try fly fishing.


The eastern gray squirrel is a common sight around this state, also home to Asheville. Which state are we referencing?

North Carolina is a great home for gray squirrels, with its lush vegetation and mountainous regions. Situated in those mountains is Asheville, which routinely tops charts for off-the-beaten-path tourist destinations.


Ancestors of Nokota horses used to roam free in Medora, situated in the Badlands in which of these states?

If you're lucky enough to lay eyes on a Nokota horse in North Dakota, you're getting a glimpse into the nation's past. This breed of horse descended from wild horses that used to roam freely in the Badlands, near present-day Medora. The Nokota horse is the state honorary equine.


You'll get all the Olympic vibes in this state, with its Olympic marmot animal and city of Olympia. Where are you?

Washington sure has a thing for the Olympics: the Olympic marmot and the city of Olympia, its state capital, that is. The marmot is a rodent that's roughly the size of your average house cat. Yikes.


There are Sooners in Norman and American Buffalo all throughout which of these states?

Norman is perhaps best known as the home of the University of Oklahoma Sooners. The term "Sooner" was given to settlers who arrived in the area before it was officially settled. Oklahoma is another state that recognizes the American buffalo as its official animal.


Parts of this state are partial to beavers, but they like ducks more in Eugene. Where are we?

Oregon's two flagship university teams are the University of Oregon Ducks in Eugene and Oregon State University Beavers in Corvallis. The beaver, however, is the state's officially-designated state animal. Sorry, ducks!


The raccoon is this state's official wild animal, and Nashville is located there. What state are we in?

For a friendly state like Tennessee to recognize the surly raccoon as its state wild animal, well, it leaves us scratching our heads. Nashville is a gem, though, with its on-trend music scene and delicious hot chicken.


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