Growing up, did you ever dream of becoming a marine biologist so you could study the fascinating creatures of the deep? Or, how about a zoologist, so you could stretch yourself to the deserts, mountains and savannahs to study land animals? The animals on this quiz span the entire globe from land to sea. How well do you think you can identify them from an image?
Do you think you can tell the difference between a beaver and a wolverine? Sure, one has two large teeth for trimming the branches and the other has a superhero named after it, but with rodent-like similarities, it may not be as easy as you think! Or, how about a moose and a Rocky Mountain Elk?Both are very large, antlered and beautiful. From a box turtle and a tortoise to the great white shark and tiger shark, Growing up, these creatures of land and of the deep sea are common, yet mysterious.
Did you know that a stonefish is the most poisonous fish in the world and despite its stone-like facade and name it is also extremely fast? But, do you think its venom is as poisonous as an Arizona rattler?
Take this quiz and see if you should be diving in the deep or sprinting across the desert in search of the world's most interesting animals!
Black Bears are the smallest of the bear species found in America. They are known for their ability to climb trees thanks to their short claws which are unable to retract. Black bears are omnivores and eat a range of food, including small mammals, fish (mostly salmon), insects, nuts, fruit, honey and plants. In the United States, estimates put the number of black bears at around 300,000.
With blue-tinted shells and claws, these crabs are instantly recognizable. They are a popular dish in the United States, famed for their sweet tasting flesh. They can grow up to 4 inches long, 9 inches wide and weigh up to two pounds. They live for around three years in the wild. Interestingly, female crabs will only mate once.
The tallest mammals found in America, the moose is the largest of the deer family. Males can weigh as much as 1,800 pounds when fully grown, while their antlers (which are used for fighting) grow to incredible size, often measuring six feet from tip to tip and weighing 40 pounds. In summer, a moose can eat up to 73 pounds of food a day. Their diet consists of vegetation. Unfortunately, in areas such as Minnesota, their numbers are dropping at an alarming rate and researchers have yet to determine the cause for this.
Humpback whales can grow to 60 feet long and weigh up to 40 tons. Each year, they migrate from the colder water near the earth's poles to the tropical waters around the Gulf of Maine. They can be seen all along the American coast during this migration. They feed on krill, plankton and tiny fish. Whales communicate with each other using a variety of sounds. They are also known to sing, with some of their songs lasting for 20 minutes.
This fish is small in size but quite a beautiful sight to see, with stripes of white, black, red and zebra colors on its body. Don’t be fooled by its beautiful colors though, as the lionfish has venomous fins that are not deadly but can cause immense pain and breathing difficulties to its victims as well as nausea in humans. These are found in the Caribbean and the Atlantic and they are part of the Scorpion family.
American bison are found across the United States. Once, there were an estimated 30 million roaming the land but by 1899, just over 1,000 remained thanks to hunting and a loss of their natural habitat. Fortunately, that number has now grown back to over 500,000 although these are crossbred with cattle. Bison grow up to 11 feet tall and weigh up to 2,000 pounds.
These dangerous predators have large, saw-like teeth that can kill an animal or human in one bite. The great white shark usually feeds on fish when they are young but eventually graduate to sea mammals, such as seals, as they get older. They aren’t even safe from their own kind, as many newborn sharks do not survive their first year because they are preyed on by other sharks, including their mothers. This shark is considered to be a threat to humans, as they have been known to attack us more frequently than any other shark.
A member of the squirrel family, the black-tailed prairie dog grows to 17 inches high and can weigh up to 3 pounds. They live in active social groups, or coteries, in large complexes burrowed under the ground. They are a critical part of the plains ecosystem. By feeding on the grass and vegetation and by continually digging up the soil, they ensure the areas where they stay are extremely fertile.
Getting stung by a box jellyfish can cause blood pressure in humans to rise to dangerous levels. The victim can experience great pain and go into shock, which can be fatal. Unlike other jellyfish that feed while drifting through the water, the box jellyfish goes out determined to catch its prey. Though not all of the fifty species of jellyfish are fatal, this sea creature has caused the deaths of many people in Australia, as compared to other animals, like crocodiles and snakes.
A semi-aquatic rodent, beavers are known for their ability to chew wood with their large teeth and build dams on rivers. They do this to turn the surrounding area into large ponds in which they then live. They build their homes in the middle of these ponds, out of mud and sticks. The entrances to their homes are located underwater, protecting them from predators. Beavers grow up to 39 inches in length and weigh close to 60 pounds.
Flower urchins or Toxopneustes, are often called toxic foot- in reference to the many venomous structures on its surface, that are tiny and toxic by nature and can be dangerous if stepped on. These are known as pedicellariae and they look much like the petals of a flower but contain venom that the flower urchin can launch at its prey even from short distances. This poison can cause scorching pain for hours as well as numbness and muscle paralysis throughout the body.
With its white winter coat and large back feet, it is easy to see how the snowshoe hare got its name. This animal is found in the alpine regions of North America. It grows to about 20 inches in length and weighs up to 4 pounds. Snowshoe hares mostly feed on shrubs, grass, trees and plants. Interestingly, their fur changes color. In summer, it is a light brown while in winter it turns white to help camouflage them in snowy conditions and hide them from predators.
This is known as one of the most poisonous fish worldwide, no doubt due to its venomous spines that have been known to be fatal to humans. The stonefish usually releases the venom if it is stepped on, which is very easy to do due to its camouflaged appearance that can be mistaken for another sea object. These fish are fast-moving ambush predators that live close to rocks, waiting for their prey before swallowing it in seconds.
Interestingly, ringtail cats are not cats at all but actually members of the raccoon family. Experts prefer the simple name, ringtail. These animals are easily identified by their long tails with alternate bands of white and dark fur. They also have large eyes with white rings them. These omnivores are incredible climbers and are able to go up 90-degree rock faces, trees or even cacti. They are small, with a maximum length of 24 inches and weigh about 2 pounds when fully grown.
These animals are fierce predators, naturally armed with two sets of jaws and some even have blunt teeth to crack down on the hard shells of molluscs and crabs. Moray eels are also innovative predators, tying themselves into knots around the body of their prey, until they are able to munch on parts of their victim or swallow it whole. This method is similar to how snakes constrict their prey using their bodies.
Raccoons live for around three years, grow to about 38 inches in length and weigh as much as 23 pounds. They are found all over America in a variety of habitats, even venturing to the outskirts of cities and residential areas. They eat a wide range of food, including frogs and other aquatic creatures, insects, mice and bird eggs, while in cities they will raid garbage cans.
These large sea predators range from 10 to 14 feet in length and can weigh up to 1,900 pounds. These animals, which are identified by the tiger stripes along their bodies, are mainly carnivores. They have been known to consume just about anything they can get their razor-sharp teeth on. After the great white shark, they are considered to be one of the most lethal sharks worldwide, duly noted for their attacks on humans.
Flying squirrels are small, weighing up to 140 grams when fully grown and growing to about 340 mm in length. Their fur colors include gray and brown as well as a mixture of the two. Of course, they can't fly, but extra skin on both sides of the body gives them the ability to glide from tree to tree at distances up to 300 feet. They eat nuts, fungi, acorns, and fruit.
This cephalopod is a creature well known for its chameleon abilities, as it often changes its color or shape to avoid predators and also to capture its prey. This octopus is actually beige but has vivid blue rings on its body when it feels threatened in some way. The blue ringed octopus has a venom called tetrodotoxin, and has more than enough to kill 30 humans at once. It is one of the only species of octopus with such lethal powers.
This 1,000-pound estuarine crocodile can be found in many countries from northern Australia to southeast Asia. This nocturnal hunter has a frightening technique of drowning its prey then rolling it quickly in the water until its limbs are removed before feasting on it. The saltwater crocodile usually hunts birds and mammals and, scary enough, can live up to 65 years.
A medium sized snake, the black rat snake grows up to 70 inches in length. They are found in the eastern United States and feed mostly on rodents and other small mammals, and sometimes eggs. As a form of defense, the snake releases a musk-like smell to chase off predators.
Easily identified by their distinctive curved horns, Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep grow up to 3.5 feet in height, around 6 feet in length and can weigh up to 300 pounds. Their horns are they most impressive feature, however. These are used by males for fighting, particularly during mating season, with heads clashing at speeds of up to 20 miles per hour. Some battles can last up to 24 hours long! Talk about a serious headache...
This tropical marine fish can be identified by its glaring teeth, elongated body, and fork-like tail. It can travel 25 miles per hour to catch prey such as snappers and anchovies, and also to evade predators like whales and sharks. The barracuda is attracted to shiny objects and so it frequently hunts golden or silver-scaled fish. It has also been reported that it attacks divers but the reason for this is unknown.
Easily identifiable, thanks to their predominately gray coloring, these foxes can grow to about 15 inches in height and 42 in length. Males can weigh up to 15 pounds. They feed on insects, small mammals, birds and occasionally fruit. They have extremely sharp claws - they are the only fox species able to climb trees. Gray foxes are believed to be one of the oldest fox species on the planet, dating back to over 10 million years old.
This is a flattened fish from the Elasmobranchs family of which sharks are also a part. They have acute senses and special pits on their faces to search through the depths of the ocean for their prey. These pits help them to pick up on the electric signals animals emanate when they travel through water. These animals, however, are named after their barbed tails that they use as self-defense to protect themselves from predators.
The official state animal of the state of Florida, these panthers are under serious threat, with only around 100 left in the wild. Males weigh around 75 pounds - much larger than females. They are solitary animals, unless it is mating season or if a female has a litter. Males are known to roam in a 200-square-mile area. They are carnivores and eat raccoons, birds, hogs and rabbits.
This seemingly harmless invertebrate looks much like a yellow petalled flower in the ocean. They use their pedal disk to glide through the ocean but also have a tendency to attach themselves to solid objects in the water. The tentacles of this carnivorous predator are used to capture their prey as the unsuspecting animal drifts by. These tentacles paralyze the prey with toxins before it is put in the sea anemone’s mouth. This silent killer feeds on mussels and crustaceans.
With its spotted pattern, the Appaloosa is often instantly recognizable. It was bred by the Nez Perce tribe. Patterns include frost, blanket, marble, leopard and snowflake. Some change their spots over time, while others have no spots at all. Appaloosas are considered a light breed horse and are perfect for riding.
This dark predator has two sets of jaws and hinged teeth that are larger than its small body. As a result of its body’s development from tail to head, the dragonfish lacks two vertebrae but has increased flexibility that allows it to catch large prey. It can also produce its own light thanks to the Photophores that line its body. This frightening looking fish is armed with unique characteristics that make it one of the most dangerous predators.
Although over 20 species of Armadillo exist, this is the only one found in the United States. Interestingly, most of this species have between seven to eleven bands around their bodies -- not always nine. They weigh up to 12 pounds and grow to 2.5 feet long. Although they are omnivores, around 90% of their diet consists of insects, some small reptiles, small amphibians and bird eggs. The other 10% consists of fruits, plant matter, fungi and seeds.
This unique fish has a slender body and a mouth similar to a funnel, which it uses to literally suck the fluids and blood of other fish for food. It has distinct characteristics. Its funnel-shaped mouth is large and jawless with rounded rows of teeth and it has seven gills behind its eyes. This predator is considered to be a threat to nature’s ecosystem, due to its systematic habit of preying upon salmon, lake trout and sturgeon.
Also known as the wapiti or American elk, this deer stands around five feet tall at the shoulder and weighs up to 700 pounds when fully grown. They live high up in the mountain ranges during summer but are forced lower during winter. They live on a range of foliage, bark, bushes and shrubs.
Pufferfish can be found in the fresh waters of the Amazon River and in the salt waters of the Red Sea. These slow swimmers are also known as balloon fish due to their ability to puff themselves up to three times their size when they feel threatened. They also have spines along their bodies that pop out like needles. They also carry tetrodotoxin, the same chemical the blue ringed octopus carries, which is 100 times more poisonous than cyanide.
Found in the Olympic Mountains of Washington State, this marmot is an extremely social creature and lives in family groups. They eat flowering plants found in the region, including glacier lilies and lupine, as well as roots. Sometimes they will eat tree bark. In summer, they will weigh up to 15 pounds as they prepare for hibernation. Marmots are known to greet each other by touching noses.
The official state reptile of Arizona, the ridge-nosed rattlesnake is easily noticed by its unique white facial stripes as well as a ridge on both sides of its nose. This snake lives in the pine canyons found in the Huachuca and Santa Rita mountains in Arizona.
It’s scary enough knowing that there are snakes roaming the land we live on but even more frightening knowing that there are sea snakes too! These 3-10 feet long predators love the warmth of the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean where they feed on eels, fish and their eggs. The Beaded Sea Snake is the most poisonous type, with venom potent enough to kill about eight people with just a few drops. Luckily for us, they are unlikely to bite unless they feel threatened.
With brightly marked shells that grow up to 250 mm long, the Western Painted Turtle is easily identified. They are found throughout Canada, right into Mexico. These turtles are omnivores and feed on plants, small fish, aquatic insects and small crustaceans. Their natural predators are otters, foxes and mink, which eat both the turtle and any eggs they lay.
This large-headed fish lives in temperate regions among coral reefs and is conveniently designed with feathery fins that enable it to camouflage itself among the reefs. The scorpion fish has a commanding presence and is a domineering predator. This omnivore lurks the temperate region of the Indian and South Pacific Oceans and hunts its prey of small fish and snails by stunning them with venom before devouring them whole.
Whiptail lizards live in dense vegetation which helps hide them from predators. If they can, they will live in burrows which offer further protection. Interestingly, some populations of these lizards are entirely female. They lay eggs, which remain unfertilized, with more females hatching from them. They catch small insects and spiders for food.
This is the second largest seal species worldwide and is usually found underwater, in the cold climate of Antarctica. They have grooved teeth and strong jaws they use to prey on other marine animals like krill, fish, and other smaller seals. They have a particular technique for catching unwary penguins; as soon as they jump off the ice and into the water, the hungry seals capture the flightless birds.
Found all along the eastern United States, from Maine to Michigan, the Eastern box turtle is easily recognizable, thanks to its dome-shaped shell, which is not as flat as other turtle species. It is the state turtle of both Tennessee and North Carolina. Box turtles prefer to live in forested areas and have become a popular pet.
Boxfish have a carapace shell of integrated plates that contribute to their box-like appearance. This hard exterior makes boxfish difficult prey but makes them dangerous predators. When hunting, boxfish emanate a deadly poison into the water that can kill smaller fish, worms, and mollusks on which it preys.
The fire coral is just yet another example of a beautiful but dangerous marine animal. They are relatives of sea anemones and jellyfish and grow in many different forms, such as into thin branches with large shapes or patches of color onto other corals. They have sharp exoskeletons that can injure one’s skin and a powerful sting released by their tentacles, that can cause pain and induce nausea and vomiting.
Found on patches of grass across the United States, American robins are early risers, often out looking for earthworms. They are easily identifiable by their dark backs and wings and a reddish breast. Other than earthworms, robins also eat a range of insects, spiders and snails, with the occasional berry thrown in. Females lay anywhere from 3 to 7 blue eggs. They hatch within 14 days and the young will leave the nest within 16 days.
A royal blue head and back along with reddish brown breast are the distinct markings of an eastern bluebird. They are found all over the eastern United States, where they hunt for insects, fruits and berries as their daily diets. They tend to prefer open areas with trees as their habitat. Interestingly, the male will put on a display near the area where he prefers to nest. This involves much wing waving as he brings in nest material. If he attracts a mate, she will build the nest.
Sea cucumbers are echinoderms that can be found on the sea floor of oceans worldwide, particularly in the Asian region. They have a barrel-shaped body that resembles the cucumber plant on land and are usually found in colors such as brown, red or blue, depending on the species. When threatened, they discharge a toxic material known as holothurin along with their internal organs to defend themselves against their enemies. No worries though, as their organs are regenerated about a week later.
The large grouper is an almost 800 pound and 8 foot-long fish that dwells mostly among the coral reefs of Australia, particularly in Queensland. This yellow and black fish is unique; it can live up to a remarkable fifty years and is also the largest fish in the world to live among coral reefs. It feeds on crabs and lobsters and is one of the shark's only predators.
Gray wolves are not always gray in color -- they can range from black to gray and sometimes even white. They generally eat moose, elk, and other big animals, but will feed on rabbits, beavers and smaller prey. Gray wolves live together in packs of up to eight. These packs use a complex system of communication using barks, growls, whines and howls. Gray wolf numbers had dropped significantly over the last century.
Also known as Orca, this whale is the largest member of the dolphin family and also one of the most popular, due to its friendly nature and ability to be found in many bodies of water worldwide. Killer whales usually weigh up to six tons and can be as long as 30 feet. They are apex predators so they are not hunted by any other animals in the food chain but instead feed on them, particularly sea lions and even sharks.
The largest in the weasel family, wolverines are ferocious creatures. They grow as long as 44 inches in length (tail included) and can weigh as much as 40 pounds. Wolverines are omnivores and include large animals such as moose, mountain goats and caribou in their diets. They even dig into snow to depths of 20 feet to catch hibernating prey. Studies have shown that wolverines will stockpile food, keeping it preserved by storing it under snow.