Special Sub-Topic: Ol' Rabbit River Just Keeps Rollin'
|Early Shoshone Native Americans made a curved shape with their hands to convey to early explorers, "This river has a good run of salmon". Europeans mistook the sign and named the river what?|
Snake. The Snake begins in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, USA, then flows through Oregon, Idaho and Washington. With steep mountains and deep canyons, it is the largest North American river to empty into the Pacific Ocean. Shoshone and Nez Perce peoples have lived along this river since prehistoric times. In its best years it ran millions of salmon.
The answer isn't Marilyn, though a curvy gesture does suggests a bombshell beauty.
|This river in South Africa is called the Apies after an animal that once thrived there but in modern times encountered troubles. Jane Goodall might approve of the name. What does "apies" mean?|
Little Apes. Apies means apes. The river was named by early settlers, the Ndebele, after a Chief Tshwane ("Little Ape"), later translated to apies. The river runs through the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa in Pretoria, one of the top ten zoos in the world. Jane Goodall was awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, in part for her work with chimpanzees, an ape closely related to humans. An aepyornis is a flightless bird in Madagascar. Gorillas were the subject of studies by Dian Fossey.
|Often landscape features found close together have a similar name, such as Elk Lakes, Elk Valley and Elk River. Which of these areas is most likely to include a river named after the elk?|
British Columbia, Canada. Elk, also called moose, are found in the upper Northern Hemisphere, excluding the arctic, in Russia, Sweden, Norway, and Finland, with fewer in the Baltic states. Strangely there's a handful in New Zealand. Disappearing marshlands, deforestation and over-hunting of both wolves and elk have eradicated the elk from much of its former range. Since elk are built for deep snow and relative cold, British Columbia is the correct answer.
|This is a famous and ancient river beginning in the mountains of Turkey and flowing to Iraq. What river named for the tiger is the stuff of legends? |
Tigris. Tigris is Greek, from the old Persian Tigra. The Tigris is 1,850 km (1,150 miles) long and runs swift. It was subject to unexpected floods, but from early times the floodplain was irrigated and cultivated. Mosul and Baghdad, Iraq both sit on the Tigris banks, as did grand cities of Mesopotamia. The Tigris is longer than the Snake, but much shorter than the Yellow, Mississippi, or Nile. Modern dams and irrigation projects in Turkey were controversial due to negative impact on the river downstream.
|Many geographic features are named for the bear, called "oso" in Spanish. Near the Jemez Mountains, where do we find the Rio del Oso? |
New Mexico. The Rio del Oso is found in New Mexico, USA, in the volcanic NE Jemez Mountains. It was probably the New Mexico Black Bear that inspired the name. The Rio del Oso area has been a hotbed, so to speak, for archeological study.
|In this country you find Beaver Canyon, Beaver Overlook, Beaver Glacier, Beaver Creek, and of course Beaver River. The beaver has shaped the history and the landscape of this country from end to end. Which country lodges the Beaver River?|
Canada. Beaver River is in Ontario, Canada, though across Canada and in at least five states of the northern USA Beaver Rivers are found. Beaver River in British Columbia is a tributary of the Columbia River. Its valley is the route of the Trans-Canada Highway and the Pacific Railway, located in Glacier National Park. The beaver shaped the economic and exploratory history of Canada, and it is their national symbol.
|In this country there are at least three Olifants rivers. They are found in Western Cape, Southern Cape, and Mpumalanga. Which country could trumpet its Elephant Rivers? |
South Africa. Along the Olifants Rivers in South Africa you can tour rugged mountain terrain, go on safari, fish or follow a wine route. Millions of local people depend on these rivers, but due to mining, power stations, irrigation, pollution and a lack of rain, the Olifants are repeatedly depleted. Similarly, more than half of South Africa's wetlands have disappeared. An interesting effect of river depletion occurs when hippos immerse themselves in small pools they find along the Olifants. Their dung collects, decomposes, and then suffocates the fish.
|The Loup River was named by French trappers. Loup means "wolf", but the river is named for local Native Americans. This river and its tributaries drains one-fifth of Nebraska, which is what kind of geographical state? |
Great Plains. The Great Plains are vast flat lands of grass and steppe in the central-western US and Canada. Some geographers include territory in Mexico, and Great Plains are sometimes called prairie or High or Low Plains. The Loup River is 1,800 miles (2,900 km) long with tributaries of North, Middle, and South Loup, creatively called "the Loups". For centuries a band of the Pawnee Native Americans called the Wolf People lived there. In the mid-1800s most of the Wolf people were relocated to a reservation in Oklahoma, where in 2011 Pawnee economic contribution to the state was about $10.5 million. The lands drained by the Loups became primarily agricultural.
|Rivers are often named after trout, rabbit, frog, fox, and very commonly, horse. This one is a little different. The scenic Komati River wanders through South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique. Certainly we'd find the Komati river in a land of milk and honey. Which animal is a Komati? |
Cow. At the city of Komatipoort, South Africa, the Komati joins the Crocodile (one of many rivers called crocodile in Africa). The Komati is named after the cow because this important river always provided sustenance, or milk, to the people. Many tourists and fisherman flock to Komatipoort.
|Where do we find the Nanook River, given that Nanook means polar bear?|
Victoria Island. Victoria Island is the eighth largest island in the world, and Canada's second largest, just slightly bigger than Britain. The Nanook River is in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, and runs from the Northwest Territories to Nunavut. Nanook is an Inuit word for the "master of bears", the polar bear. Bear Island, Antarctica was named for a 1940 expedition flagship, as there are no bears in the Antarctic.
Did you find these entries particularly interesting, or do you have comments / corrections to make? Let the author know!
Send the author a thank you or
Submit a correction