Scary Australian Wildlife Quiz

Scary Australian Wildlife Quiz
Image: William West/AFP/Getty

About This Quiz

Sometimes it seems a wonder anyone makes it out of Australia alive. The country is the dubious home to more venomous snake species than any other country in the world, along with highly toxic spiders, enormous crocodiles and even a giant centipede (hard pass on that one). Even seasoned conservationist Steve Irwin died when he came in contact with a stingray, a normally docile creature.

So it’s actually ironic that, in an area where one can encounter a dizzying array of deadly snakes, it’s actually more likely that a honeybee or horse will do you in. In fact, a 2016 study found that more people died from horse-related injuries from 2000 to 2013 than by any other animal or insect.

Still, that doesn’t make the reality of creatures like the common death adder any less frightening (seriously, who named that one?) Scarily enough, it’s not even a question of size mattering. The tiny Australian paralysis tick boasts poisonous saliva that causes people to go into deadly anaphylactic shock. Indeed, for all their cuddly koalas and bouncing kangaroos, the Land Down Under nonetheless has a well-deserved reputation for hosting some of planet Earth's freakiest fauna. How much do you know about scary Australian wildlife? Take the quiz now!

What sort of behavior do stingrays usually display around humans?
They are aggressive.
They are docile.
Step on one in shallow water, though, and they may pierce your skin with a scary (and dangerous) tail.
They are terrified.

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What's the wingspan of flying foxes?
4 feet (1.2 meters)
5 feet (1.5 meters)
3 feet (1 meter)
In large groups they are annoying because of the noise, but they aren't dangerous to people.

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What kind of animal is a cassowary?
snake
bird
The birds can exceed 100 pounds (45 kilograms) and may be very aggressive, particularly if they've become used to humans.
rabbit-like animal

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How many people die from snake bites each year in Australia?
5
Good medical care helps to offset the potential for many more deaths.
50
500

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How fast can cassowaries run?
10 mph
20 mph
30 mph
Armed with hefty-looking feet, which they use as weapons, they've been known to kill dogs and humans.

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Why are death adders so dangerous?
their great eyesight
their amazing camouflage
They tend to sit still until humans accidentally step on them.
their incredible poison

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According to some reports, to what size can saltwater crocodiles grow?
20 feet (6 meters)
25 feet (7.6 meters)
These sometimes enormous predators send about a dozen people to hospitals each year.
30 feet (9 meters)

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Where are you most likely to run into a Bull shark?
river
Bull sharks love harbors, rivers and estuaries and are well-known for their propensity to attack.
scuba-diving in deep water
lakes

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What does the bite of the western brown snake compare to?
a cloud landing on your arm
The bite is painless. But the venom is very toxic, and the snake injects a ton of it to ward off perceived threats.
a bullet wound
a third-degree burn

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Since recordkeeping began in the late 1700s, how many people have died from shark attacks in Australia?
about 340
There have been 342 fatal shark attacks in Australia, as of 2015.
about 980
about 730

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How many species of funnel-web spiders are there in Australia?
15
40
Only six of them are dangerous to humans; happily, antivenom successfully treats most victims.
67

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How big do some Huntsman spiders get?
6 inches (15 centimeters)
Their speed and size are intimidating, but fortunately these spiders aren't dangerous to humans.
8 inches (20 centimeters)
10 inches (25 centimeters)

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If you don't treat a bite from a common tiger snake, what happens?
You die.
So if a friend says, "You may want to have someone look at that," you may want to actually listen to her.
You go blind.
You are permanently paralyzed.

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The Portuguese man-of-war jellyfish is often known as what?
yellow knife
greenfish
blue bottle
The glossy fish can sting around 10,000 people per year, and severe reactions can mean death.

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About how many people go to the emergency room each year due to stings from Irukandji jellyfish?
Around 30
It's usually around 30, but in 2002, one hospital in Australia had 80 cases alone.
Around 100
Around 300

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What is the most dangerous shark in Australia?
Great White shark
Bull shark
Bull sharks' size and aggressiveness make them the most hazardous to humans.
Tiger shark

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In a serious case, how quickly can the venom from a taipan snake kill a human?
about 3 minutes
about 30 minutes
Many more of these bites were fatal before the development of antivenom in the 1950s.
about 3 hours

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When saltwater crocodiles attack humans, how do the victims usually die?
They're swallowed whole.
They drown.
The crocs will grab prey and roll them in the water until the target is motionless.
from bleeding

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Since the 1880s, how many people have jellyfish killed in Australia?
about 80
The feared box jellyfish is responsible for almost all of those deaths.
about 180
about 380

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How does the toxin from a box jellyfish kill you?
paralyzes the respiratory system
stops the heart
Within minutes, the poison can stop your heart.
shuts down the brain

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When biting, what is a common king brown snake behavior?
launching itself through the air
hanging on and chewing
That's right, it'll dangle from your body in a brutal attempt to inject as much venom as possible.
biting and hiding

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Some unconfirmed reports say that scrub pythons can grow to what size?
26 feet (8 meters)
These enormous snakes will hang out motionless, waiting for a chance to seize prey.
28 feet (8.5 meters)
35 feet (10.6 meters)

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What is the deadliest animal in Australia?
shark
snake
jellyfish
The most dangerous animal in Australia is the box jellyfish.

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What is the second-deadliest animal in Australia?
kangaroo
honey bee
If you're one of the 2 percent of the population with allergies to stings, bees are scary indeed.
shark

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At what speed can a box jellyfish swim?
1.2 mph (1.9 kph)
4.5 mph (7.2 kph)
They actively chase down prey; fortunately humans are not prey.
They don't swim — they drift.

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Why do humans have little to fear from inland taipans, even though they are the world's most venomous snake?
They are in remote areas.
They are hard to find, even when scientists go looking for them.
They don't like to bite people.
Their fangs are tiny.

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What animal has a collection of poison-tipped harpoons that can kill humans?
cone snails
These predatory animals can shoot their harpoons in any direction.
sea urchins
giant starfish

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In what year was the last reported death from the Sydney funnel-web spider?
1981
That was the year that a working antivenom was finally produced.
1999
2009

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How do most stonefish stings occur?
Tourists play with them.
Fisherman accidentally catch them.
People step on them.
These freaky-looking fish can live a whole day out of the water, meaning that you can run into them right on the beach.

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The small blue-ringed octopus is so poisonous that a single creature has enough venom to kill how many people?
10
18
26
They may be only 8 inches (20 centimeters) in size but they can be deadly. They carry enough venom to kill 26 people within minutes.

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You Got:
/30
William West/AFP/Getty

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