Do You Know if These Common Facts About Animals Are True or False?

Zoe Samuel

Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

Animals are one of the first things you learn about as a child. We use them to learn the letters of the alphabet, and as a gateway to understanding the world around us. Animals are used to reflect personality characteristics, nations and political parties. You would think we know everything about animals.

Many of the things we thought we knew about animals have been proven wrong at some time or another. New species are discovered all the time, and in fact species evolve every day. In the London Tube, for example, there is a species of blood-sucking insect that feeds on the rats there and exists nowhere else in the world. At the same time, our understanding of the behavior of wolves has led us to reassess their social structure.

Were you paying attention in class when you were a child? Did you spend time reading the plaques at the zoo, or did you just look at the animals and move on? Are you able to name all the types of tigers or know what kinds of sharks are fearsome but harmless? Prepare your knowledge library, because now is the time to find out if you know which so-called facts are true and which are false! Take this quiz and find out!

Which of the following facts about mammals is true?

The general list of what constitutes a mammal is: having a covering of fur, skin or hair, being warm-blooded, giving birth to live young that consume milk, and having a spine.

What does "dinosaur" mean?

The word "dinosaur" literally translates as "terrible lizard." However, modern paleontologists have learned that many dinosaurs had feathers, making them more bird than lizard.

Which fact about arachnids is false?

Arachnids have a lot of things going for them, but antennae isn't one of them. Spiders and other arachnids do all have bodies divided into the cephalothorax and the abdomen, they all have eight appendages, and they are all meat-eaters.

Which insect fact is false?

Insects all have six legs (or three pairs) which are attached to the three sections of their bodies. Insects include flying bugs like bees and flies, and also flightless bugs like ants.

Which of these monkey facts is true?

Monkeys are plentiful and varied, with more than 260 distinct species. However, this being the world, there are new species discovered and old ones going extinct every day, so that number will fluctuate.

Which of these shark tooth shapes isn't real?

While great whites have wedge-shaped teeth, other sharks, like the lemon shark, have dagger-shaped teeth. Bottom-feeders, like the nurse shark, have blocky teeth that look fan-shaped from the side. No shark has yet developed a corkscrew-shaped tooth.

Which of these statements about buffalo and bison is true?

Buffalo and bison are not in fact the same creature. They are closely related, but buffalo tend to live in warmer climates, and it is believed that domesticated buffalo were the ancestors of modern cattle. Also, American bison have a very distinctive hump that buffalo don't have.

Which machine has the mouth of the great white shark been compared to?

Great white sharks dismember their prey by shaking their heads from side to side, allowing the natural shape of their teeth and the kinetic energy of the shaking to do the work of slicing through seals - much the same way a chainsaw cuts through a tree.

Which of these dog facts is true?

There are many myths about dogs, mostly borne out of our close relationship to them. For example, while canine distemper can dry out a dog's nose, there are plenty of other health problems that do not express themselves through the state of the dog's nose. Similarly, there is a myth that dogs' mouths are cleaner than humans, because dogs use their tongues to groom themselves. This is terrible logic, and not true. Dogs have as many bacteria in their mouths as we do, and depending on their attitudes towards picking up random stuff outside, even more.

Which of these shark facts is true?

Sharks have five rows of teeth, which is convenient for when one of the front ones is lost. Not only do the teeth from the lower rows move up, but also the shark's body forms a fifth replacement tooth for the one used up. Handy.

Which of the following dog facts is false?

Dogs are a little colorblind compared to humans, but not completely colorblind by any means. Dogs don't have the best eyesight generally - they rely on their other senses to fill in the blanks. On the other hand, they are pack animals who require a clear hierarchy to be happy, even if they aren't at the top of it.

Which of the following sharks is not still alive today?

Megalodon was a prehistoric shark that makes the great white look like a goldfish. Megalodon was sixty feet long, with a mouth big enough to drive a small car through. It is believed this creature preyed on the large creatures of the deep, such as whales, squid and large fish. For megalodon, a human would barely be a light snack.

Which of these horse breeds is not real?

While miniature horses, mustangs and the American quarter horse are all real, the American half horse is made up. The American quarter horse is so named because it is very good at sprinting short distances, like a quarter mile. One can only assume the "half horse" would be some kind of centaur.

Other than their beaks, what is truly the defining trait of all parrots?

Parrots two main defining characteristics are their curved beaks and their feet, which have four toes, two pointed forward and two backward. This is one of the reasons they can perch so well.

Which of these is not a breed of cattle?

The beefalo is a hybrid mating of an American bison and domestic cattle, so technically not a kind of cattle.

Which narwhal fact is true?

Narwhals do not have horns at all! A narwhal's tusk is a canine tooth that grows outward their whole lives. It is primarily an organ used to sense things about the narwhal's environment, to communicate with other narwhals by rubbing, and to stun certain kinds of fish with a sharp impact.

Which fact about rats is false?

Rats are fascinating creatures, and similar to humans in many ways, but they cannot fit their bodies through openings the width of of their tails. Norway rats, on the other hand, can fit their bodies through any opening large enough to accommodate their heads.

Which pig fact is false?

The pig plays an important role in nature and in agriculture. It also has important symbolism in the Chinese zodiac. It hasn't, however, made it into the Western zodiac, where the bull succeeded.

Which description of marsupials is true?

Marsupials are peculiar creatures, having evolved a sort of pocket on their torsos in which they keep their young for a time, until they are old enough to survive on their own two or four feet.

Which statement about the gray pigeons found in New York City is true?

New Yorkers who enjoyed shooting managed to wipe out the native pigeons, so when the creators of Luxembourg Gardens drew up Central Park, bird fanciers insisted the city get its own authentically French pigeons with which they would populate the park.

Which of these is not a game bird?

Game birds are chosen because it's a challenge to hunt them. The emu is a massive flightless bird often raised as livestock, in captivity. Clearly not a game bird.

Which statement about rattlesnakes is false?

Rattlesnakes don't need to rattle when they are threatened. They do so in order to avoid confrontation. If surprised, a rattlesnake can strike without making a sound.

Which statement about wolves is true?

Wolves, dogs and foxes are all canids, and theoretically they can be crossbred. Dog/wolf hybrids are still closer to being wild animals than they are domestic pets, though, so be careful.

Which statement about camels is true?

Camels' feet evolved, along with the rest of the camel, for desert travel. They carry fat reserves in their humps that they use for energy, and their feet spread out wide on the ground, decreasing the pounds per square inch of pressure their feet put on the ground, so they don't sink into the sand.

Which statement about koi (domesticated carp) is true?

Koi like the temperature to be between 15 to 25 degrees Celsius. They are domestic pets after all, not hardy wild animals. Koi can live a long time, though - 25 to 30 years!

Which statement about Betta splendens is true?

Betta splendens, or Siamese fighting fish, are a variety of fish from the Mekong. They come in several varieties, bred for their distinctive appearance. The males of this breed will fight each other to the death for territory, which they use to hunt insects and eat vegetation.

Which statement about domestic cats is true?

Indeed, cattus, the Latin word for a domestic cat, is the root of our modern word, whereas feles is the Latin word for a wild cat. Cats bite approximately 40,000 Americans per annum, make 100 distinct sounds, and don't have a sweet tooth!

Which statement about llamas is true?

Female llamas are dams, male llamas are sires, and baby llamas are cria. Llamas are very intelligent animals, with lightweight wool favored for its feel.

Which statement about bats is true?

Bats, which see in the ultraviolet spectrum, are the only mammals capable of continuous flight. They can live up to 20 years, and there are varieties of bats that eat insects, drink blood and eat fruit.

Which statement about nutria is true?

Nutria are pretty horrifying, but not that horrifying. They are basically giant rats the size of beavers who possess huge incisors and live in swampy regions, like the deep South.

Which statement about coyotes is true?

Coyotes, which are monogamous, have a way of avoiding their natural predators, which includes wolves, bears, cougars, and humans. Coyotes can be extra stealthy by walking on their toes!

Which statement about falcons is true?

Falcons' wings are tapered, like those of an F-22 Raptor, which allows certain breeds to fly as fast as 200 mph. Falcons' range is about 30 miles, and they can spot prey about a mile away, just with their eyes.

Which statement about cockroaches is false?

Scientists at Tohoku University found that cockroaches can be conditioned, just like dogs, and even made to salivate at a smell they have been conditioned to expect will precede food. Don't dwell on the cockroaches without heads.

Which statement about sparrows is true?

Sparrows eat insects, making them carnivorous. They can fly up to 30 mph in an emergency, and are well designed to survive in a human environment, where our detritus provides them with plenty to eat.

Which of these isn't a squamata?

Squamata are scaled reptiles, the most recent iteration of the evolution of reptiles. They include many species, some more closely related than others. While birds are believed to be related to some squamata, they are in a different class, as they are no longer considered reptiles.

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