Quiz: The A to Z Apex Predator Quiz!: HowStuffWorks
The A to Z Apex Predator Quiz!
7 Min Quiz
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About This Quiz
Imagine you are at a beach near the ocean. The sun is at its hottest, and the only thing that could cool you off is a dip in the water. Others have joined you, each of them relishing that instant cool on the skin. However, the relief that you're experiencing is short-lived: a fin erupts from the depths and panic ensues. Luckily, you made it to the beach in time as the shark cruises on by, leaving everyone unscathed.
Contrary to popular belief, sharks aren't bloodthirsty monsters who are always on the prowl for human blood. A majority of shark attacks on humans is unintentionally (at times) provoked. While the shark is in shallow waters (more than likely looking for a quick meal), a swimmer could kick the shark with a foot while trying to keep afloat. Tips on prevention include removal of jewelry (it could be mistaken for fish scales), wearing bright-colored swimsuits (they are good at picking up contrasts, so it is like a beacon to them), and avoiding swimming during ideal feeding times for sharks. As an apex predator, the shark has no natural enemies.
Sharks aren't the only ones with no natural enemies; humans are apex predators as well. We've rounded up a handful of apex predators for you to identify. Do you think you can name them all? Take the quiz to find out.
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Which reptile is the mascot for the University of Florida?
Alligator moms are some of the most maternal parents in the reptile kingdom. Not only do they create incubators for their young by using mud and decaying foliage, but once they hear their babies' cries, she digs them out of their nest and carries them to water.
JAKKAPAN PRAMMANASIK / Moment Open / Getty Images
Which of the fish listed below is considered a megafish?
Considered one of the most primitive of the predatory fish, gars are known for their long and narrow snouts. The number of attacks on humans isn't known, but if you're ever in the mood to make an omelette, avoid a gar's eggs at all costs: they're poisonous!
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Called the dinosaur of turtles, this reptile is considered one of the largest turtles in the world. Which turtle is it?
What do fishermen and the alligator snapping turtle have in common? They both use lures to attract fish. However, unlike the fishermen, the alligator snapping turtle always has their lure handy; it is a small, pink worm-shaped appendage on their tongues.
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This animal is the mascot of the Hufflepuff house in the Harry Potter series. Which one is it?
The North American badger is a crafty creature in that it has formed an alliance with another apex predator. When it comes to hunting down prey that is in tunnels (like prairie dogs), the coyote will employ the help of a badger. And if prey tries to run, the coyote's speed helps both animals get a meal.
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What fish shares a name with a song by Heart?
While adult great barracudas tend to hunt alone, young barracudas will often swim in schools. This provides additional protection, and if a predator approaches, these fish have a pretty smart technique—they will circle the predator, confusing it because it probably was only focused on one fish.
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Which bear has the highest population in North America?
When it comes to fishing, black bears on the Pacific coast usually catch their salmon during the night hours. Why? Because of their dark-colored coats, the salmon could see them during the day.
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Native to the jungles of southeast Asia, this snake is known as one of the largest snakes in the world. Who are we thinking of?
If you were to try to capture a Burmese python, you may need to get some help. In the wild, these creatures can grow to be 18 feet in length and can weigh up to 200 pounds. Currently, the largest Burmese python in captivity weighs about 400 pounds, which can be a chore to move if it needs to be relocated.
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Cheetos uses this African cat as their mascot. Which cat is it?
One of the fastest cars in the world is the Bentley Continental GT, which can go from zero to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds. That speed is lower than a cheetah; they can get to that same speed at around three seconds, almost a full second faster than the GT.
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What kind of animal pursued The Roadrunner in Looney Tunes?
Coyotes have had a reputation of being garbage-diving, pet-eating animals. Just like a lot of apex predators, this isn't the case. A majority of a coyote's diet consists of rodents, fruit, deer and rabbits. Only a coyote who has been exposed to humans would attack a pet.
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What reptile looks a lot like an alligator but has a narrower snout?
Alligators, a close relative of the crocodile, reside primarily in the Americas, however, with the exception of Europe, a type of croc resides there. Currently, there are seven different crocodiles hanging out all over the globe.
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Which of these birds is considered the most powerful eagle in Africa?
Like many couples, the crowned eagles will go out on dinner dates. The male will fly over the tree lines of the African forests, sending out a call, while the female (who is larger) will swoop in and grab their dinner, which is usually a confused monkey.
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What one of these rattlesnakes is also the mascot for an Arizona baseball team?
The diamondback rattlesnake is divided into two separate species: the eastern diamondback and the western diamondback. These reptiles have deadly venom that has caused human fatalities. The good news is that antivenom is readily available at local hospitals that are in this rattler's range.
Mieneke Andeweg-van Rijn / Moment / Getty Images
These owls have the largest wingspan of over six feet. What hooter is it?
There are two different apex predators living in the Eurasian eagle-owl's range: the owl itself and the golden eagle. While some may think these two are in direct competition with one another, it isn't true. The golden eagle hunts primarily during the day, and the Eurasian eagle-owl hunts at night.
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This crocodilian is critically endangered and resides primarily in India. What reptile are we thinking of?
Related to alligators and crocodiles, the gharial has a unique origin story. When the gharial was discovered, the scientists had made a typo. The scientific name for the gharial is gavialis gangeticus, which misspells the Hindu word gharial.
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This Antarctic bird has the nicknames of stinkpot, gluttons and sea vultures. Which bird is it?
The giant petrel received its name from the Bible. The word petrel originated with St. Peter, who walked on water. What's this have in common with the petrel? When they take off, these birds look like they're running on water.
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Which member of the weasel family is an apex predator native to the Amazon?
Just like their cousins the river and sea otter, giant otters thrive by eating fish and other aquatic creatures. In addition to the Amazon Rainforest, giant otters are also known to dwell in the Orinoco and La Plata river systems.
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These lizards are named after a river basin in Arizona. Which lizard is it?
The Gila monster is one of the biggest homebodies on the planet. These lizards will spend over 95% of their 20-year lives in their burrows. The only time they come out is to grab a bite to eat or to catch some desert sun.
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What animal is the largest bird of prey in North America?
In addition to being the largest bird of prey in North America, Mexico has adopted this powerful bird as its national bird. It's no wonder—these birds are able to catch prey by diving at speeds up to 150 miles per hour.
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This fish is native to the Congo River Basin and is known for its massive teeth. Which predatory fish are we thinking of?
With 32 teeth measuring one inch each, the Goliath tigerfish is not the most charming creature to look at. On top of that, their size can be a little intimidating; they can grow to be five feet long and can weigh up to 150 pounds.
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This gull is the largest of its kind. What is it?
Like many of the apex predators, great black-backed gulls are predators of opportunity. They will eat almost anything, from trash left behind by humans to fish that a humpback whale chased to the surface.
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This predator has four rows of sharp teeth. Which one is it?
Many portrayals of the great white shark depict them as bloodthirsty human devouring creatures; the opposite is true. Their nonfatal attacks scientists call sample bites, where the shark nibbles their prey. Because the humans live, it indicates that they aren't on the shark's diet.
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What owl has two tufts of feathers on its head?
If you ever were to drop something, you better hope that a great horned owl somehow doesn't snatch it! Getting a great horned owl to open its talons requires over 25 pounds of force.
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In addition to Memphis' NBA team, Oakland University and the University of Montana-Missoula use this bear as a mascot. Which bear is it?
If you think you could outrun a grizzly bear because of its size, think again. The average grizzly bear has been clocked running at 30 miles per hour, which is only a danger if you startle them or come between a mother and her cubs.
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Named after a creature in Greek mythology, this eagle perches in South American forests. Which eagle are we thinking of?
The harpy eagle is known for perching for long periods of time to wait for that perfect opportunity to strike. This is with good cause—with prey including monkeys, sloths and iguanas, you really want a good angle to capture an animal of that size.
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This hawk shares its first name with a bank. What hawk are we thinking of?
What do wolves and Harris's hawks have in common? They are both extremely social and hunt in packs. They also help each other build nests. These social creatures are pretty easygoing, especially around humans, which makes them an ideal candidate for falconers.
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Which cat shares its name with a brand of automobile?
Unlike a lot of felines, jaguars enjoy a good swim once in a while, which expands their food sources. On land, they eat tapirs, deer and capybaras; from rivers they can eat fish, caimans or turtles.
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Which of these reptiles is the heaviest lizard?
The Komodo dragon is a massive creature with its average weight being over 300 pounds. It survives by hunting animals using its claws and shark-like teeth to take their prey down. And if that doesn't work, they have venomous bites which should do the trick.
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This animal is also known as a sea leopard. Which arctic animal is it?
Leopard seals are the only seals that feast on warm-blooded animals, namely smaller seals. Aside from other members of their species, leopard seals also eat fish, squid and penguins.
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As represented by Leo, this big cat rules the zodiac from late July to the middle of August. Which cat is it?
"The Lion King," released in 1994, is considered one of the crown jewels of the Disney Renaissance. Spanning from 1989 until 1999, the Disney Renaissance produced many high grossing films including "Aladdin," "The Little Mermaid," and "Mulan."
Picture by Tambako the Jaguar / Moment / Getty Images
Which Canadian cat likes to eat snowshoe hare?
In order to move in the snow, a lynx will spread its toes out, creating a natural snowshoe. Another thing that comes in handy is the black tufts of fur on the tops of their ears, which helps them hear things from far away, similarly to a hearing aid.
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What kind of marine mammal is Shamu, who lives at Sea World?
If you thought your family was large, think again! A typical pod of orca whales contains about 50 of these creatures. On top of which, they are pretty close knit; even after they reach adulthood, orcas will stick with their parents, making the pod even larger.
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In their native land of China, these bears symbolize good fortune. Which bear are we talking about?
What do many human mothers have in common with panda moms? They both drop their kids off at school! Panda kindergartens allow panda cubs in captivity to play, socialize, and get some snacks.
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These white furred bears always make splashes in the summer when playing in their pools at zoos. Which bear is it?
When it comes to childbirth in humans, identical twins are pretty rare, occurring in three to four births out of 1000. In polar bears, however, the opposite is true; it is pretty rare that single cubs are born.
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This cat has several names including cougar and mountain lion. Which cat is it?
Pumas were considered pests who preyed upon livestock, which caused farmers to slaughter them, depleting their populations in the midwest. The good news is that deer, the puma's favorite food, has a thriving population and with a little help, the puma can regain its population.
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Which of these hawks is also known as a buzzard hawk?
If you thought impressing your mate for Valentine's Day was impossible, you should check out how the red-tailed hawk gets a date. The potential pair of hawks will perform aerial acrobatics, with the male diving. And if that wasn't enough, if successful, they grab one another and spiral to the ground.
Picture by Tambako the Jaguar / Moment / Getty Images
Which of these big cats lives in the Himalayan Mountains?
In addition to walking with its toes spread, snow leopards have a couple of ways to keep warm in their cool environment. Just like the common house cat, snow leopards will wrap their tails around their noses to keep warm.
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Just like the coyote, this apex predator was also featured in Looney Tunes. Who are we thinking of?
Just like the Tasmanian Devil made famous by Bugs Bunny and the gang, Tasmanian Devils are solitary, and when threatened, they are manic, cranky, and loud. To add insult to injury, when another creature threatens the Tasmanian devil, it yawns in the face of its adversary.
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Frosted Flakes has one of these named Tony as their mascot. Which animal is it?
The lion may be the king of the jungle, but the tiger is the largest of the big cats. In addition to this, when the heat hits their fur, they take a dip in a nearby pond where they are excellent swimmers.
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Native to Australia, this creature is known as the largest marsupial on the Australian mainland. What endangered predator are we thinking of?
In 2017, the tiger quoll, which many considered to be extinct, started to make appearances in the Otways, Australia's rainforest. This urged several conservation efforts which will hopefully help this species start to flourish.
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All domestic canines are descendants of this wild animal. Which one is it?
When it comes to seeing wolves, if you see one alone, it may not truly be alone. Most wolves run in packs, consisting of between six and ten animals, each contributing to their family unit.
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