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Australian Animals Trivia Questions and Answers

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1. What carnivorous animals were given their ungodly name by early settlers who were appalled by their teeth-baring and aggressive behaviour?


Answer: Tasmanian Devil

Interesting Information:
Now confined only to the island state of Tasmania, the Tassie Devil only behaves aggressively when threatened. Oh, and when devouring its dinner. They feed on frogs, birds, smaller mammals, fish and insects. They are also happy to feast as a group on roadkill.

They are in danger due to a rare contagious cancer called devil facial tumour disease (DFTD). One species that has been unaffected has been isolated in order to allow breeding of untainted offspring. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Goodbye Tiger
 
Some incorrect choices:
Quokkas, Quandong, Tiger snake

2. Which animal from Australia is grey and eats eucalyptus leaves?


Answer: Koala

Interesting Information:
Koalas live in tall, eucalyptus forests. The only states where you would find koalas naturally in the wild are Queensland, NSW, Victoria and South Australia. Koalas are mostly nocturnal and often sleep 18-20 hours per day. A baby koala is called a joey. The joey stays in its mother's pouch for about six or seven months and drinks only milk during this time. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Which Animal am I?
 
Some incorrect choices:
Platypus, Echidna, Kangaroo

3. The infamous Australian dog called a dingo has had a negative impact on which local industry?


Answer: Cattle raising

Interesting Information:
Dingoes are able to live on many different terrains. They are commonly associated with desert lands but they also live in wetlands, forests and even colder habitats. Dingoes live more populously in areas where cattle raising is heaviest. In fact, the dispersal of dingoes within Australia is almost perfectly aligned with where the most cattle are raised. Dingoes typically prey on cattle and sheep but have also been known to fish. Because of their predatory tendencies, farmers and ranchers in the Outback often hunt dingoes to keep them away from their herds. Dingoes may also be poisoned and dead dingoes are sometimes hung on fences as a further deterrence. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Animals of the Outback
 
Some incorrect choices:
Tourism, Ship building, Cotton

4. The marsupials are a unique group of animals in the mammal kingdom. How can we tell that a mammal is also a marsupial?


Answer: They carry their young in a pouch

Interesting Information:
Marsupials carry their young in a pouch for some of their gestation periods. Most Australian mammals are also marsupials, and marsupials are generally found in the Australasian region.

Kangaroos are tiny when they are born, about the size of a jellybean. They normally remain in the pouch except for small periods until around nine months of age. Kangaroos also possess the ability to diapause or suspend the development of pregnancy during times of drought and poor food or water supply. Difficulty: Very Easy.

From Quiz: The Three Ms - Mammals, Marsupials and Monotremes
 
Some incorrect choices:
They are Australian, They are brown, They lay eggs

5. Let's start with one of the most feared animals on the earth - the crocodile. What is considered the MOST dangerous of the crocodiles found in Australia?


Answer: The estuarine crocodile.

Interesting Information:
The estuarine crocodile or saltwater crocodile is the largest of all the "Crocs". They are known as "salties" by those that live in the "Top End" (the top part of Australia). As the name suggests, the estuarine crocodile can be found in the ocean as well as in rivers, billabongs and swamps. They are considered extremely dangerous.

The freshwater crocodile is also known as the Australian freshwater crocodile, the "freshie" and the Johnston's crocodile. The freshwater crocodile is apparently not capable of killing a human as their jaws are not big enough to inflict serious damage (but I am not keen on putting that to the test).

The morelet's crocodile is found in Central America.

The orinoco crocodile is found in South America.

Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Australia's Dangerous Creatures
 
Some incorrect choices:
The freshwater crocodile., The morelet's crocodile., The orinoco crocodile.

6. In which Australian state was the cane toad first introduced?


Answer: Queensland

Interesting Information:
A shipment of around 100 cane toads arrived in Queensland in June, 1935. These toads were bred to increase their numbers and eventually more than 3000 of them were released in northern Queensland. The cane toad spread rapidly and is now found across a broad swathe of Australia, ranging from Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory to northern New South Wales. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: The Great Cane Toad Caper
 
Some incorrect choices:
New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia

7. A popular aviary bird, this type of parrot inhabits forests and woodlands on the east coast of Australia. Coloured red, green and blue, what is its name?


Answer: Australian King Parrot

Interesting Information:
The adult male takes about two years to reach mature colouring, the female is not as colourful. They eat seeds, berries, fruit and nuts and lay three to four eggs in spring or summer. Other names include Southern King Parrot and King Lory. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Australian Birds (Feathered Variety)
 
Some incorrect choices:
Superb Parrot, Regent Parrot, Australian Queen Parrot

8. Known as the brush-tailed marsupial mouse, what am I?


Answer: Phascogale

Interesting Information:
Found only in Victoria and Western Australia, I am a small marsupial measuring around 24 cm from nose to tail. I am a very good climber, but find most of my food, small birds, mice and insects, on the ground, and I don't drink, I get all the moisture I need from my food! Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: More Australian Animals
 
Some incorrect choices:
Pygmy possum, Pademelon, Quokka

9. In America they call it the black widow spider, what do Australians call it?


Answer: Red-Back spider

Interesting Information:
Red-back spiders are found throughout the warmer parts of the world including Europe, North America, New Zealand and Australia. Only the female is dangerous. They can cause serious illness and even death. However, no deaths have been reported since the introduction of anti-venom. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: The Great Australian Bite...Or Sting
 
Some incorrect choices:
Katipo spider, Hourglass spider, Botton spider

10. Atrax robustus is generally considered to be one of the deadliest spiders in the world. What is its common name?


Answer: Funnel-web spider

Interesting Information:
This spider is often called the Sydney funnel-web as it is found around that city and within a radius of around 60 miles (100 km). It comes in shades of brown, plum and black and has venom which can cause serious illness or even death, especially to children. The male's venom is deadlier than that of the female.

Fortunately, an effective antivenom is available and early medical intervention means that deaths are rare. Victims know they have been bitten as the bite is described as extremely painful, meaning that they are likely to head for hospital immediately. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: These Things'll Kill You!
 
Some incorrect choices:
Black widow spider, Brown recluse spider, Australian wolf spider

11. What two well known animals are on the Australian Coat of Arms?


Answer: Emu and Kangaroo

Interesting Information:
The reason that these 2 animals were chosen is because neither of them can walk backwards. Hence on the Coat of Arms they are both facing each other depicting a nation that ONLY goes forwards and never backwards. Difficulty: Easy.

From Quiz: Australian Wildlife
 
Some incorrect choices:
Wombat and Lyrebird, Koala and Dingo, Kangaroo and Numbat

12. What sweet diminutive creature lives on a diet of nectar and pollen?


Answer: Honey Possum

Interesting Information:
The honey possum has a prehensile tail, and is famous for its long snout; the genus name, rostratus, means "beaked" in Latin. Its feeding behaviour is a little like the hummingbird, as its tongue moves rapidly in and out of its mouth, at about three times a second. The animal is endemic to the south-west of Western Australia, and is a talisman animal for some of the traditional owners of that area. They are nocturnal, and feed on flora endemic to the area, namely banksias, bottlebrushes, heaths, grass trees and kangaroo paws. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Goodbye Tiger
 
Some incorrect choices:
Hooded owl, Wallaby, Wombat

13. Which animal from Australia has big hind legs and uses jumping as a way of getting around?


Answer: Kangaroo

Interesting Information:
There are four kangaroo species: the red, antilopine, eastern grey, and western grey kangaroo. Kangaroos are the national symbol of Australia and appear on postage stamps, coins, and aircraft. The sex of offspring can be determined by the female. When scared, young kangaroos (joeys) sometimes jump head first into their mother's pouch. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Which Animal am I?
 
Some incorrect choices:
Bilby, Wombat, Quokka

14. What is the name of the feral horses that populate the grassier areas of the Outback?


Answer: Brumbies

Interesting Information:
Brumbies are descendants of horses brought to Australia from Europe. Horses are not normally endemic to Australia. Brumbies, although feral, have been known to be helpful to humans and are sometimes kept as pets and work horses. They are also common sights in horse and pony shows. Brumbies live all over Australia but are more common in the Northern Territory, in areas where the Outback is not as harsh and unforgiving. Difficulty: Very Easy.

From Quiz: Animals of the Outback
 
Some incorrect choices:
Grumbies, Mustangs, Ponies

15. At what age does a male Eastern grey kangaroo reach sexual maturity?


Answer: two years

Interesting Information:
Males reach sexual maturity at two years of age. Females mature a little earlier. Adverse conditions such as drought may delay sexual maturity. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Born in the Wild: Kangaroo
 
Some incorrect choices:
six years, twelve years, eight years

16. Which shark, with the scientific name of Carcharhinus leucas, is generally considered to be the most dangerous to humans?


Answer: Bull shark

Interesting Information:
At the cusp of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, there were only about two fatalities a year due to shark attacks in Australia. Did you know that over 70% of people attacked by sharks live to tell the tale? True.

Sometimes it is impossible to know which type of shark is responsible for an attack (especially in fatalities where the body is not recovered), and that is one reason for some disagreement between authorities. But most agree that the bull shark is more dangerous to humans than any other shark.

Bull sharks (Carcharhinus leucas) are omnivorous; they will eat anything. They are also one of the only sharks that can live for long periods in fresh water. They have been recorded 4000 km away from the ocean in the Amazon River system, and Lake Nicaragua, Central America, is a known breeding ground. This is a fish that hangs out in murky, fresh water, rivers and lakes... just where humans enjoy a good swim. Unfortunately, these sharks enjoy a good human, and they don't need fava beans and a nice Chianti... Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Killers Down Under
 
Some incorrect choices:
Tiger shark, White pointer shark (called the great white shark in the U.S.), Nurse shark

17. Dear Mum, I saw a Southern right whale today! I was amazed to learn that they were called that because they are found in southern waters, and for what other reason?


Answer: They were the right whales to sell at market

Interesting Information:
They were considered the right whales to be sold at market, due to the high percentage oil they contain, as well as the fact that they float when dead, making it easier for whalers to locate. Calving mother *do* swim up to beaches to give birth, and sadly, whale do sometimes beach themselves, for reasons unknown. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: It's Nothing To Write Home About
 
Some incorrect choices:
They swim anticlockwise, Their right fin is bigger than the left one, They swim right up to the beach

18. To which region are cane toads native?


Answer: The Americas

Interesting Information:
Cane toads are native to the southern United States and tropical regions of South America. The cane toads introduced to Australia were shipped to the country from Hawaii. Cane toads can live in a variety of environments from sand dunes to the outskirts of tropical forests and mangroves. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: The Great Cane Toad Caper
 
Some incorrect choices:
Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Antarctica

19. There are two types of this large kingfisher in Australia. Its habitat includes northern and eastern Australia and central and southern Western Australia. What is its name?


Answer: Kookaburra

Interesting Information:
The Laughing or Blue-Winged Kookaburra is one of Australia's most well known birds. Its distinctive call, like wild laughter, is territorial, telling all other Kookaburras that they have a territory and are ready to defend it! Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Australian Birds (Feathered Variety)
 
Some incorrect choices:
Azure Kingfisher, Little Kingfisher, Kestrel

20. This is the most venomous jellyfish in the world.


Answer: Box jellyfish

Interesting Information:
The box jellyfish is found in northern Australia where it feeds on small fish and crustaceans. It has up to 5000 stinging cells and if stung you have virtually no chance of survival unless treated immediately. Because the pain is so bad, you are more likely to go into shock and drown before reaching the shore.

There are other types of box jellyfish, but the one to avoid is found in various areas of the Indo-Pacific area, not just off the coast of Australia. Difficulty: Average.

From Quiz: The Great Australian Bite...Or Sting
 
Some incorrect choices:
Lion's mane jellyfish, Bell jellyfish, Sea nettle jellyfish

21. The inland taipan, Oxyuranus microlepidotus, is also known by which of these names?


Answer: Fierce snake

Interesting Information:
The venom of the inland taipan is believed to be among the most toxic of any snake as its main prey is mammals. It especially favours rats, and is known to strike repeatedly - as many as eight bites can be inflicted in one attack. Despite this, the coastal taipan is more dangerous to humans - the inland taipan is more likely to evade a human than attack.

Its habitat is the central regions of eastern Australia, mostly away from the more populated coastal areas. As well as being called the fierce snake, it is known as the small-scaled snake and the western taipan. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: These Things'll Kill You!
 
Some incorrect choices:
Vicious snake, Savage snake, Brown snake

22. What arboreal possum is also known as the fluffy glider?


Answer: Yellow-bellied glider

Interesting Information:
Distributed along a vast part of the coast of the eastern states, the yellow-bellied glider is about the size of a rabbit. The young of the species are cared for by both parents in the den for several months before they are weaned and sent off into the wide world. Their habitat is classified as "at risk" due to the removal of old nest trees, but the animals themselves are not threatened because of their wide distribution. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Goodbye Tiger
 
Some incorrect choices:
Yass bandicoot, Squirrel glider, Sugar glider

23. Which animal from Australia has spines on its back and is classified as having a beak, but not in the traditional sense?


Answer: Echidna

Interesting Information:
Echidnas are also called spiny anteaters. Their spines are modified hairs. They prefer alpine meadows, coastal forests and interior deserts. Echidnas only eat termites, ants and other soil invertebrates. They typically breed between July and August. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Which Animal am I?
 
Some incorrect choices:
Dingo, Toad, Wombat

24. Venomous mammals tend to be rare around the world, but of course Australia has one of its own. The male members of what Australian species have a venom spur on their hind legs?


Answer: Platypus

Interesting Information:
Platypus venom is not lethal to humans but is known to cause excruciating pain. Fortunately, getting stung by a platypus is an unlikely event for most people, as they are reclusive creatures. The males only produce venom during the breeding season and seem to use it in fights with each other rather than to defend against predators. Difficulty: Average.

From Quiz: Australia's Dangerous Creatures
 
Some incorrect choices:
Echidna, Koala, Kangaroo

25. The bilby is a small marsupial with big ears that lives in the Outback. How does the bilby stay hydrated in the dry desert heat?


Answer: From its diet

Interesting Information:
Like a number of Outback animals, the bilby can obtain enough water from its diet of seeds, fruits and small insects. Water sources are extremely rare in the Outback so this is a necessity. The bilby also keeps cool by burrowing under the ground which has the added benefit of protecting it from predators. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Animals of the Outback
 
Some incorrect choices:
From underwater springs, By drinking its own urine, The bilby does not need water at all

26. This particular creature is semi-aquatic and is the only known Australian mammal to be venomous. A monotreme, it lays eggs rather than giving birth to live young. Which Aussie creature is it?


Answer: Platypus

Interesting Information:
The male platypus has a venomous spur on its hind leg which administers a painful sting. When the first specimens of platypuses (no agreement has been reached on how to spell the plural) reached Europe, many naturalists thought that it was a joke or prank animal.

There are only two monotremes (egg-bearing mammals) both of whom are native to Australia.

The other options are all well known Australian mammals and marsupials. Difficulty: Very Easy.

From Quiz: The Three Ms - Mammals, Marsupials and Monotremes
 
Some incorrect choices:
Koala, Wombat, Wallaby

27. How long is a red kangaroo's gestation period?


Answer: thirty three days

Interesting Information:
Baby kangaroos are called joeys. When a joey is born, it climbs from the birth canal all the way through its mother's thick fur to the pouch on her abdomen, where it will stay for another 190 days. Let's keep in mind that this is a big journey for a baby that is blind, hairless and no bigger than a jellybean.

Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Born in the Wild: Kangaroo
 
Some incorrect choices:
sixty three days, ninety three days, one hundred and twenty three days

28. What is the cane toad's scientific name?


Answer: Bufo marinus

Interesting Information:
Bufo americanus is the American toad, Bufo terrestris is the southern toad and Bufo biporcatus is the Indonesian toad. Cane toads can range in colour from grey to reddish-brown, with paler-coloured undersides. They are a large species, with adults able to reach sizes of up to 15 cm. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: The Great Cane Toad Caper
 
Some incorrect choices:
Bufo americanus, Bufo terrestris, Bufo biporcatus

29. Inhabiting the north eastern coast of Australia, this parrot lives in open forests, woodland, semi-arid shrubland and farmland. What is its name?


Answer: Pale-headed Rosella

Interesting Information:
Living in pairs or small groups, this Rosella eats seeds, fruit, blossoms and nectar. The Northern Rosella is only found in the Northern Territory and the far north of Western Australia. The Western Rosella is only found in Western Australia and the Green Rosella is only found in Tasmania. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Australian Birds (Feathered Variety)
 
Some incorrect choices:
Northern Rosella, Western Rosella, Green Rosella

30. This was considered one of the most venomous snakes in the world, until the discovery of the fierce snake...its cousin.


Answer: Taipan

Interesting Information:
The taipan is a very highly venomous snake producing approximately 120 mg of venom. A maximum of 400 mg has been recorded, about 50 times more than a cobra. If you are unfortunate enough to be bitten, you will be bitten more than once. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: The Great Australian Bite...Or Sting
 
Some incorrect choices:
Cobra, Tiger snake, Brown snake

31. The venom produced by the blue-ringed octopus is a neurotoxin which causes which of these in victims?


Answer: Paralysis

Interesting Information:
The blue-ringed octopus is a small, but deadly, creature found mostly in rocky areas or coral reefs of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. They are small in size and tend to hunt at night, looking for crustaceans to eat. The blue rings only show up in their bright, iridescent, colours when the octopus is alarmed and are a warning not to touch it.

The one found in Australia is Hapalochlaena maculosa, mostly along the southern coast and Tasmania. The venom it produces is called tetrodotoxin (TTX), the same as that in pufferfish, which paralyses the muscles. The victim may remain conscious for a while, unable to move, with death by respiratory failure occurring when the diaphragm stops working. There is no antitoxin available, but victims can be saved if placed on a ventilator until the venom leaves the body. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: These Things'll Kill You!
 
Some incorrect choices:
Extreme pain, Heart failure, Seizures

32. What is the spiky egg laying mammal of Australia called?


Answer: Echidna

Interesting Information:
The Echidna's spikes are used as protection from predators. Its short sturdy legs and strong claws enable it to burrow beneath the soil as well as a tool for searching out its food of termites and ants. Difficulty: Average.

From Quiz: Australian Wildlife
 
Some incorrect choices:
Hedgehog, Houndhog, Echinacea

33. Pushed out of its natural habitat into the desert, what once flourishing creature is now thought to be extinct?


Answer: Lesser bilby

Interesting Information:
In common with many small Australian native animals, the introduction of foxes and cats had a devastating effect on these creatures. They were also vulnerable to being the prey of dingos. Its habitat was spinifex and cane grass on dunes and sandy plains in northeast South Australia and adjoining southeast Northern Territory. It also lived in the Gibson and Great Sandy Deserts of Western Australia, adjoining the Northern Territory. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Goodbye Tiger
 
Some incorrect choices:
Lyre Bird, Numbat, Quoll

34. Which animal from Australia has a flat wide tail like a beaver and a wide flat bill like a duck's?


Answer: Platypus

Interesting Information:
Platypuses can be found in habitats ranging from cold highlands to tropical rainforests. Platypuses are carnivores; they eat worms, shrimp, crayfish, and larvae of insects. They live, sleep, and give birth within tunnels in the riverbank. Platypuses breed between June and October.

Platypuses have no teats. The mother platypus oozes milk from glands on her abdomen and, rather than feeding on teats, the babies suck the milk from her fur. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Which Animal am I?
 
Some incorrect choices:
Wombat, Sugar Glider, Bettong

35. What kind of animal is the perentie, which is one of the largest of its kind?


Answer: Lizard

Interesting Information:
The perentie is a kind of lizard that is one of the largest in the world. It is sometimes confused for a crocodile given its shape and color. Perenties live primarily in the Australian Outback near loose rocks and soil. They spend the majority of their time underground which means they are very rarely seen. Perenties carry a mild venom that can cause swelling and pain but is rarely lethal to humans. The perentie is probably best known for being used in medicines by ancient Aborigines. Difficulty: Easy.

From Quiz: Animals of the Outback
 
Some incorrect choices:
Bird, Fish, Cat

36. The other monotreme of the mammal family also lives in Australia. It looks very similar to hedgehogs found in Europe. Beginning with E, what are they called?


Answer: Echidna

Interesting Information:
The echidna is named after a Greek mythological creature believed to be half-woman, half-snake. After a young echidna is hatched, it lives in its mother's pouch for several months, much like members of the marsupial family.

The echidna has been described as looking like a porcupine or hedgehog. Difficulty: Very Easy.

From Quiz: The Three Ms - Mammals, Marsupials and Monotremes
 
Some incorrect choices:
Elephant, Egg layer, Porcupine

37. What's the easiest way to tell the difference between male and female red kangaroos?


Answer: body size and colouration

Interesting Information:
Male red kangaroos are much larger than the females, standing roughly two metres tall, 2.8 metres long and weighing up to 90kg. Females stand between one and 1.5 metres tall, measure 1.9 metres long and weigh roughly 40kg.

There's also a difference in fur colour. Males are pale or brick red while females are bluish-grey. Difficulty: Average.

From Quiz: Born in the Wild: Kangaroo
 
Some incorrect choices:
tail length, they have different shaped ears, there are no differences

38. As adults, cane toads are most active during warm weather. At what time is this activity concentrated?


Answer: At night.

Interesting Information:
Cane toads are generally nocturnal. When the weather is cold and/or dry, they prefer to find shelter, which they are able to dig for themselves if necessary. They are a hardy species, and can tolerate a temperature range of 5-40 degrees Centigrade. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: The Great Cane Toad Caper
 
Some incorrect choices:
Between 6am and 10am., All day., Late afternoon.

39. In the northern waters of Australia, I have been blamed for nearly as many deaths as those caused by sharks and salt-water crocodiles put together! What is my common name?


Answer: Box Jellyfish

Interesting Information:
The box jellyfish is claimed to be the most venomous marine animal known. Australian species are transparent pale blue, almost invisible in the water and are by far the largest in the world with the most stingers and venom that is much more toxic than any other jellyfish. Difficulty: Easy.

From Quiz: Aussie Seaside Stingers!
 
Some incorrect choices:
Fire Worm, Elephant Fish, Crown-of-Thorns Starfish

40. There are more than six different types of this small bird in Australia. Found only in northern Australia, this particular one has very distinctive colouring. What is its name?


Answer: Purple-crowned Fairy Wren

Interesting Information:
This beautiful little wren with a purple crown and blue tail eats insects. It is endangered, found only in the far north of Western Australia, the Northern Territory and the far north western corner of Queensland inhabiting dense shrubbery and undergrowth. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Australian Birds (Feathered Variety)
 
Some incorrect choices:
Superb Fairy Wren, Fairy Penguin, Splendid Fairy Wren
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