How Much Do You Know About Marine Mammals?


By: Stella Alexander

5 Min Quiz

Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

You really OTTER take this quiz! In the oceans, you'd find tons of different marine mammals living within the ecosystem to survive. They can range from the crowd favorite, dolphins, to manatees and seals. While these animals have tons of characteristics that group them together, there's even more that set them apart. How well do you know marine mammals? 

If you travel back to your days of science, you probably learned about the different classes of animal. There are invertebrates, which are animals without a backbone. Amphibians, animals which start out as larvae, grow into animals like frogs and newts. Birds are hatched from eggs and have feathers and toothless beaks. Fish, which commonly have scales and lay eggs, use gills to breathe under water while a small portion use air. Reptiles, like snakes and crocodiles, are characterized by dry scales and laying soft-shelled eggs. Last, but not least, the last animal group is mammals that are normally grouped by mammary glands, hair/fur, and more.

Within the group of mammals, the types of animals cover a wide range. While you'd have humans on the list of land mammals, you'd also find tigers and elephants. Traveling to the oceans, you'd find animals such as sea lions, walruses and blue whales. From some of the smallest to the biggest animals on earth, do you know enough about marine mammals to pass this quiz? Let's find out!

Which of the following is not a class of marine mammal?

When it comes to marine mammals, there are four classes of them: cetaceans, pinnipeds, sirenians, and marine fissipeds.


Which of the following animals is not a cetacean?

Cetacean is the name reserved to a particular group of marine mammals that include whales, dolphins and porpoises. These types of animals are carnivores and also have fins.


Which of the following animals is not a pinniped?

Pinniped is a group of marine mammals that includes seals, walruses and sea lions. These animals are characterized by their fin foots and are also carnivorous.


Which of the following is a sirenian?

Manatees and dugongs are the two marine mammals that fall into the group of sirenians. These animals are fully aquatic, meaning they only live life under water.


Which of the following is a marine fissiped?

Marine fissipeds is the last group of marine mammals. This group includes polar bears and sea lions. They are essentially grouped because they are different from most marine mammals in that they "play" in the marine environment but don't need it for survival as much as the other marine mammals.


What is the layer of fat on a marine mammal called?

Many marine mammals have blubber. This layer of fat allows them to stay warm in the ocean.


Which of the following is not a marine mammal?

While many people like to group animals like sharks and whales together, sharks are not mammals. They are fish and use gills to breathe.


Which of the following is not a characteristic of marine mammals?

Marine mammals and land mammals share a lot of the same traits, but you won't find hair or fur on marine mammals. While land mammals use it to stay warm, marine mammals have a layer of blubber that keeps them warm.


Which of the following marine mammals is a herbivore?

Manatees are marine mammals that are herbivores, meaning their diet consists of plant-based foods. These animals eat grass, algae and leaves.


What is the largest animal in the world?

The blue whale is the largest animal on earth. It can weigh up to 300,000 pounds and lie at over 80 feet long.


True or False: Many marine mammals are endangered.

Many marine mammals are endangered and it's mostly due to humans. From a combination of pollution and hunting, many of the species are endangered.


What do walruses use their whiskers for?

Walruses have tons of whiskers along their body. They use them in order to detect shellfish in deep water.


Streamlined bodies help marine mammals do what?

Streamlined bodies are a characteristic of marine mammals. This allows them to swim more quickly and more efficiently through water.


Which of these is not one of the differences between sea lions and seals?

In general, sea lions have the ability to move better than regular seals. Sea lions have exposed ears and are able to move on all four flippers. This gives them more mobility than regular seals.


Orca is another name for what kind of marine mammal?

Orcas are also known as killer whales. They are often called "wolves of the sea" because they are a very harmful predator, hence the name.


True or False: Orcas (or killer whales) are not actually whales.

Killer whales are not actually whales. Orcas are actually the largest member of the dolphin family.


Around how many marine mammal species are there?

There are around 125-130 different species of marine mammals.


"White whale" is another term for what?

Beluga whales are often called "white whales" for their color. These marine mammals are recognized for their awkwardly shaped heads.


An odontocete has how many blowholes?

Odonocetes are also called toothed whales and they are characterized with one blowhole.


Baleen whales are named after what body part?

Baleen whales are very different from other marine mammals, and this is due to their teeth. They have "baleen plates" as teeth which look like a row of combs.


Ursus maritimus is the scientific name for which marine mammal?

The scientific name for polar bears is Ursus maritimus. Polar bears fall in the class of marine fissipeds, a group of mammals that often live near water.


True or False: In polygyny, both male and female mammals are able to take up more than one mate.

Marine mammals are often predisposed to polygyny. While male mammals often mate with more than one female, the female mammals usually take only one mate.


Which of the following would not be in the diet of a marine mammal?

For marine mammals, their diet is usually restricted by the water sources that they live in or around. You'll find that most of them eat fish and shellfish.


Are marine mammals warm-blooded or cold-blooded?

When it comes to mammals, all of them are warm-blooded. This means that they are able to maintain their body heat versus cold temperatures.


How long can dolphins stay underwater?

There are some marine mammals, like sperm whales, that can stay in the water for around 90 minutes. Dolphins can only last in the water for about 20 minutes before needing another breath.


Ambergris is "whale waste" that is an expensive ingredient used in some perfumes. What animal does it come from?

Ambergris is a waxy substance that is produced from sperm whales. This usually washes up on shore and is actually an expensive ingredient that is used in some perfumes.


What is the smallest marine mammal?

Sea otters are the smallest marine mammal. They can be as small as 6-14 pounds.


Do seals swim with their fore limbs or hind limbs?

Seals have to use their hind limbs for much of their movement. Their fore limbs are very short in comparison and often hinder their movement on land.


When was the Marine Mammal Protection Act signed?

In 1972, the United States passed the Marine Mammal Protection Act, which would serve to protect all marine mammals within the borders of the United States. This protects these animals from being hunted.


Animals like walruses and narwhals have tusks made of what?

Many animals have been hunted for their ivory tusks. Narwhals and walruses have been placed on endangered species lists to protect them from unnecessary hunting.


Which of the following is not a family of the pinniped?

Pinnipeds is the group that includes seals, walruses and sea lions. They are broken up into three families: Odobenidae (walrus), Otariidae (sea lions and fur seals), and Phocidae (true seals).


Florida manatees are often killed by what cause?

While most marine mammals are endangered from hunting and pollution, there's another problem causing manatee deaths in Florida. Many of them are dying from boat collisions.


In which ocean would you find sea otters?

Sea otters are native to the Pacific Ocean. They can be found as far south as California and as far north as some Alaskan islands.


What do blue whales eat?

Blue whales, the largest animal in the world, eat krill. They are filtered through their baleen plates and a whale can hold up to 2200 pounds of food in its stomach.


Echolocation is a process that is done through what sense?

Animals like dolphins are well-known for echolocation. They make clicking noises which bounce off their location and essentially give them the ability to locate objects around them.


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