Quiz: There Are Millions of Animal Species, So We'll Be Impressed If You Can Identify 11!: HowStuffWorks
There Are Millions of Animal Species, So We'll Be Impressed If You Can Identify 11!
By: Daniel Yetman
6 Min Quiz
Image: Picture by Tambako the Jaguar / Moment Open / Getty Images
About This Quiz
Some of the animals that live on our planet look even more surreal than the fictional creatures in our movies. Take the platypus for instance; it looks like somebody took a duck and sewed it together with a beaver! The pink fairy armadillo and dumbo octopus don't look any less ridiculous.
If you take out your magnifying glass and begin looking at some of the insects on the planet, it's hard not to be amazed. The orchid mantis is a perfect example of how animals evolve to match their surroundings. This mantis looks almost exactly like an orchid flower until the moment it decides to lunge itself at a small bird or mouse. Don't get too close or it might think your finger is something delicious.
Are you a fan of the Planet Earth documentaries? If you are, you might already know a lot of the critters on this quiz, but we're confident we've found a few that will be new to you. Have you ever heard of a warty frogfish? How about the red-lipped batfish? Don't tell me you're already an expert in Honduran white bats?
It's time for you to guess the names of some of the craziest looking animals on our planet. Ready? Then let's get started!
Msdstefan / Stefan Heinrich via WikiCommons
What's the name of this animal that looks like the product of a beaver and a duck?
The platypus is one of the world's most unique animals. It has a bill like a duck but has fur like a mammal. It has venom like a snake and also lays eggs like a bird. It's one of only two mammals in the world that lays eggs.
Posnov / Moment / Getty Images
What's the name of this Australian native critter?
They may be cute, but you shouldn't get too close. If provoked, the wombat can give you a pretty serious bite. There was one case of a wombat biting a man through his boat and almost an inch into his leg!
Stan Tekiela Author / Naturalist / Wildlife Photographer / Moment / Getty Images
What's the name of this funny-looking mammal?
The star-nosed mole is found in the North-Eastern United States and Canada. Their funny-looking nose is extremely sensitive to touch and it helps them navigate, which makes up for their poor vision.
Dargombez via YouTube
What's the name of this sweater-wearing insect?
It may look like it's wearing an angora sweater, but that's it's actually its body. They weren't discovered until 2009 and still haven't been confirmed as their own unique species.
Hal Beral / Corbis / Getty Images
What's the name of this ugly fish?
It may look more like a pile of mold than a fish, but the warty frogfish lives in the tropical Pacific. They can change colors to blend with their surroundings and eat basically anything in sight. So keep your fingers away!
Image captured by Joanne Hedger / Moment / Getty Images
Which name does this armored creature go by?
The pangolin is found in Asia and Africa. They may look like armadillos, but they also have stink glands like a sunk. As you can probably guess from their scales, they curl into a ball when scared.
Adegsm / Moment / Getty Images
Can you tell us the name of this flower? Whoops! We mean insect.
The orchid mantis is one of the most interesting insects in the world. If you were to see one sitting on a tree, you would probably mistake it for a flower. Don't let their beauty fool you, though. They're known to eat lizards and small frogs.
guenterguni / E+ / Getty Images
Can you recognize this funny-looking bird?
The shoebill goes by several other names, including the whalehead and the shoe-billed stork. It gets its name from its large bill that gives it the appearance of always smiling. You can find them in Zambia and Sudan.
Petr Hamerník via WikiCommons
Do you know the name of the largest amphibian in the world?
The Chinese giant salamander can grow to be almost 6 feet long. They might give you a fright if you came across one swimming in the mountain lakes of China. However, they eat mostly insects and fish so you won't have anything to worry about.
artland / Moment / Getty Images
Can you tell us what this large filter feeder is called?
If you saw this creature lying on your desk, you might pick it up thinking it's a writing quill. They can grow more than six feet tall and feed mostly by filtering plankton out of the water.
Jasius / Moment / Getty Images
Which of these insects is the ninja of the insect world?
The assassin bug has some moves that even the most highly-trained ninjas would be jealous of. They are known to cover themselves in dead ant bodies to sneak up on bees and other prey.
How big do you think this bat is judging by the picture? Believe it or not, they only grow to be 1.5 inches long. You can find them in the jungles of Central America, where they spend most of their time hanging from heliconia plants.
marlin harms via WikiCommons
Which of these unique creatures lives in the Baja Desert?
At a glance, the Mexican mole lizard looks like an earthworm that sprouted legs and a head. You probably won't see one unless you're wandering through the desert at night after a thundershower.
Steve Allen / Stockbyte / Getty Images
There are only 1,000 of these birds left in the wild? What's its name?
If you want to see a flightless cormorant, you'll have to travel to the Galapagos Islands. Through years of evolution, their wings have shrunk until they've lost the ability to fly.
Mike Powles / Photodisc / Getty Images
It's not a cow, pig or rhino.... What is it?
The Baird's tapir is also known as a mountain cow and is the national animal of Belize. They spend most of the day sleeping and come out at night to eat. They're currently listed as endangered.
markaharper1 via WikiCommons
Can you name this bird that was featured in the "Planet Earth" series?
The male superb bird-of-paradise has his work cut out for him. Because their population has a low female-to-male ratio, it's not uncommon for females to reject 15 or more males before choosing a mate.
PEDRE / E+ / Getty Images
It's not the prettiest animal on this list, but do you know its name?
Lampreys are a jawless fish, and most species use their razor-toothed mouths to filter feed. They may look intimidating when you look into their mouth, but they're harmless to humans.
Emma Holman / Moment / Getty Images
It looks like an insect, but it's actually a crustacean. What's it called?
You won't find the mantis shrimp on the menu at a seafood menu, but you can find it hiding in coral reefs in the pacific. They catch their prey with their praying mantis-like front arms.
Raj Kamal / Stockbyte / Getty Images
Can you tell us the name of this carnivorous salamander that lives for 10-15 years?
If you want to see an axolotl in the wild, you'll have to travel to Mexico and visit Xochimilco Lake. However, their populations are in decline because of water pollution. Axolotls eat mostly worms, small fish, and mollusks.
NOAA Okeanos Explorer via WikiCommons
Can you name this eight-legged animal?
If you want to find a dumbo octopus, you'll have to dive at least 10,000 feet into the ocean to find one. They get their name from their fins on its face that look similar to elephant ears.
Tobias von Anhalt via WikiCommons
What's the name of this eyeless creature?
If you look closely at an Atretochoana, you will quickly notice something missing. This unusual amphibian that lives in the Amazon doesn't have eyes. They weren't discovered until 2011 when a photographer found six of them near the Madeira River.
Tahreer Photography / Moment / Getty Images
What's the name of this giant leaf-like insect?
The giant katydid can grow to be more than 6 inches long. Because it's disguised to look like a leaf, you might not even see it coming. They're so big that they rarely fly or jump.
Andrey Giljov via WikiCommons
What happens when you mix a walrus with a deer? You get this animal. What's its name?
The Saiga antelope is now critically endangered and now lives exclusively in Russia and Kazakhstan. They're easy to spot by their elephant-like noses, however, because there's less than 50,000 left, you're unlikely to see them in the wild.
Cristian Bortes / Moment Open / Getty Images
Do these eyes look familiar to you?
The tarsier has one of the largest eye-to-body ratios of any animal. Their bodies grow to be up to 6 inches long, whereas their eyes grow to more than half-an-inch in diameter! You can find them in the jungles of Southeast Asia.
Rachel Caauwe via WikiCommons
Can you tell us the name of this sad fish?
It's not hard to guess how the blobfish got its name. They live in the deep waters off the coast of Australia and New Zealand, can grow up to 4lbs and their gelatinous body helps them withstand extreme underwater pressure.
Fritz Geller-Grimm via WikiCommons
What's the name of this spider that you probably wouldn't want to see in your shower drain?
These aquatic spiders hang around water where they wait for ripples that signal a nearby tadpole or fish. Some species can even encapsulate themselves in an air bubble and go underwater.
John Cummings via WikiCommons
Which of these animals is found throughout South America?
You can find water opossums from Mexico to Argentina near freshwater lakes and streams. Both sexes have a pouch. When the males are swimming, they put their genitals into their pouch like it's a bathing suit.
TeeJe / Moment / Getty Images
It's not a dinosaur, but it is the largest living lizard. What's its name?
The Komono dragon lives exclusively on the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, Gili Motang and Flores. You probably don't want to come across one in the wild since they can grow to be more than 10 feet long.
kiszon pascal / Moment / Getty Images
This "river rat" is native to South America. Do you know its name?
The nutria spends most of its time around rivers and can weigh up to 37 pounds. It uses its front limbs for digging burrows and foraging while it uses its back webbed feet for swimming.
Hectonichus via WikiCommons
What's the name of this strange bird from Colombia and Ecuador?
The male umbrellabird has one of the strangest features of any bird. It has a wattle that hangs from its chest that can be up to a foot-and-a-half long. They can inflate their wattle when trying to attract a mate.
Anthoptic / Moment Open / Getty Images
What's the name of New Zealand's "owl parrot"?
There are thought to be less than 125 kakapos left in the wild. Their small numbers can be attributed to only breeding about once every three years. They're also flightless, so they are easy prey for dogs and cats.
Photo by Danny James / Moment / Getty Images
What's the name of this animal that looks like your pet dog on stilts?
The maned wolf is the largest type of wolf in South America. You can find it in the open grasslands of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Bolivia.
ebettini / E+ / Getty Images
What's the name of the largest American lizard?
The Gila monster lives from New Mexico to Utah as well as Northern Mexico. They grow to be about 20 inches long and eat small mammals and birds. Keep your hands away from them, because they are venomous!
Cagan Hakki Sekercioglu / Moment / Getty Images
Can you name this endangered lemur?
It may look like it stepped straight out of the movie "Gremlins," but the Aye-Aye is native to Madagascar. It's the largest nocturnal primate in the world and can grow to be up to 1.5 feet long.
zahoor salmi / Moment / Getty Images
What's the name of this goat that's going through an experimental phase with its hair?
Male markhors grow to be more than 200 pounds and are native from Afghanistan to Northern Africa. Their name translates from Persian as "snake eater" because of a legend that they can eat snakes and release the venom in their cud.
Murray Foubister via WikiCommons
Can you tell us which bird has the nickname "stinkbird"?
You may smell a hoatzin before you see it. The hoatzin's gullet and crop in its throat contain large amounts of bacteria that ferment the plants it eats. Unfortunately, this fermentation process doesn't produce the most pleasant smell.
www.bridgetdavey.com / Moment Open / Getty Images
Is it a mouse or is it a rabbit? Maybe both. What's it called?
The Patagonian Mara is a rodent found in Argentina. They generally hide in low shrub, but they occasionally also roam in the Monte Desert. They feed mostly on green plants and fruit.
Vicki Jauron, Babylon and Beyond Photography / Moment / Getty Images
What's the name of this long-necked mammal?
The Gerenuk is the giraffe of the gazelle world. They grow to be up to 3.5 feet tall and live in the eastern part of Africa. They use their long necks to graze on low trees much the same as giraffes.
Steve Johnson / Moment / Getty Images
What's the name of North America's largest (and ugliest) land bird?
The California condor can have a wingspan over 10 feet long. They use their long wings to soar through the sky for miles without having to flap. If one flies over you, don't be surprised if you mistake it for a small airplane.
Citron / CC BY-SA 3.0 via WikiCommons
What's the name of this animal that lives more than 5,000 feet below the water's surface?
If you want to see a frilled shark, you'll have to dive more than 5,000 feet. They look more like a fossil than a living species. As you can imagine, they probably haven't evolved much in the last few million years.
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