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Paleontology Trivia

Paleontology Trivia Quizzes

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Dinosaurs and all things prehistoric can be found here.
101 Paleontology quizzes and 1,414 Paleontology trivia questions.
Sub-Categories:
Dinosaurs Dinosaurs (41 quizzes)
1.
Walking With Dinosaurs
  Walking With Dinosaurs   great trivia quiz  
Photo Quiz
 10 Qns
Dinosaurs roamed the earth millions of years ago and we will take a journey back in time to look at some of the most common.
Easier, 10 Qns, Plodd, Aug 23 23
Easier
Plodd
Aug 23 23
3005 plays
2.
  The Time of the Behemoths   great trivia quiz  
Match Quiz
 10 Qns
The Pleistocene epoch was characterized by megafauna - a set of very large animals that for the most part disappeared during the Quaternary extinction event. This quiz takes a look at some of these behemoths.
Easier, 10 Qns, LadyNym, Mar 22 20
Easier
LadyNym gold member
Mar 22 20
454 plays
3.
  Mass Extinction Events   best quiz  
Multiple Choice
 15 Qns
Scientists have identified a number of mass extinction events that have eliminated many species once present on Earth. How much do you known about them?
Tough, 15 Qns, pshelton, Jul 05 20
Tough
pshelton gold member
Jul 05 20
2370 plays
4.
  Real! Dead! Monsters!   top quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Some of the scariest creatures ever are fact, not fiction. Fortunately these real monsters are now extinct, so there's nothing to worry about.
Average, 10 Qns, jcpetersen, Apr 29 10
Average
jcpetersen
2289 plays
5.
  The Bare Bones of Water   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
The Four Winds have gone fishing. They retrieve several fossils from the water. What do you know about these fossils?
Average, 10 Qns, JanIQ, Oct 17 18
Average
JanIQ gold member
Oct 17 18
2601 plays
6.
  Gone, But Not Forgotten   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Thousands of creatures existed at the time of the dinosaurs. They have been gone a while, but thanks to palaeontologists, they haven't been forgotten. Over the centuries, people from different fields and walks of life have contributed to palaeontology.
Average, 10 Qns, AcrylicInk, Oct 04 18
Average
AcrylicInk gold member
Oct 04 18
805 plays
7.
  Some Super State Fossils   best quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
A quiz on the sundry specimens that the several states have selected to symbolize their spirit.
Average, 10 Qns, stuthehistoryguy, Oct 01 11
Average
stuthehistoryguy gold member
797 plays
8.
  Remains of the Day   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Fossilised, petrified or preserved in ice, the remains of prehistoric flora and fauna continue to fascinate paleontologists. Let's "dig" around some, shall we?
Average, 10 Qns, Jakeroo, Oct 04 13
Average
Jakeroo
2393 plays
9.
  Meet the Ancestors   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Apes and humans are believed to have evolved from common ancestors. How much do you know about the history of human evolution?
Average, 10 Qns, jamesf, Dec 04 20
Average
jamesf
Dec 04 20
2275 plays
10.
  Back to the Shed   top quiz  
Match Quiz
 10 Qns
...to check our fossils. Can you match the dinosaur names to their meaning?
Easier, 10 Qns, kino76, Mar 31 17
Easier
kino76 gold member
518 plays
trivia question Quick Question
To which phylum of creatures did trilobites belong?

From Quiz "The Trouble With Trilobites"




11.
  The Four Winds Uncover Fossils in India   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Fossils serve an important role in helping to link the past with the present. Here are some important fossil finds of India.
Average, 10 Qns, zorba_scank, Mar 13 17
Average
zorba_scank gold member
801 plays
12.
  German Paleontology   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
These are some of the ways that Germans and/or Germany have contributed to the field of paleontology.
Average, 10 Qns, nautilator, Jan 13 15
Average
nautilator
330 plays
13.
  Prehistoric Who am I? Part 3   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 25 Qns
Welcome to Prehistoric Who am I? Part 3. This time you'll get to know twenty-five animals from the Jurassic period.
Average, 25 Qns, ElusiveDream, Feb 18 16
Average
ElusiveDream
339 plays
14.
  Footprints on the Sands of Time    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
The wealth of mammalian fossils found at the important site of Riversleigh in Queensland, Australia can truly be described as footprints on the sands of time, leaving evidence of a world that has long since disappeared.
Average, 10 Qns, looney_tunes, Oct 29 20
Average
looney_tunes editor
Oct 29 20
366 plays
15.
  Badass Hungry Pterodactyl   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
'Life swoops down like a badass hungry pterodactyl...' The pterodactyl is one of the most famous species of flying reptiles, and lived during the Mesozoic Era. The T-Rex and its ground-dwelling friends get enough attention so it's the pterodactyl's turn.
Average, 10 Qns, Kankurette, Dec 03 22
Average
Kankurette gold member
Dec 03 22
135 plays
16.
  Uncommon Nicknames/Uncommon Species    
Match Quiz
 10 Qns
Some paleontologists name their archaeological discoveries beyond the scientific numbering system that is typically used. Can you match the nicknames of these discoveries with their species?
Average, 10 Qns, ponycargirl, Mar 11 17
Average
ponycargirl editor
817 plays
17.
  The Trouble With Trilobites    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
How much do you know about these fascinating extinct "wee beasties" from way back in prehistoric times?
Average, 10 Qns, Rowena8482, Nov 18 13
Average
Rowena8482 gold member
1542 plays
18.
  Snowmageddon   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
We may still technically be living in the current ice age, but the LGM (last glacial maximum) was about 20,000 years ago, and many species that lived then are no longer with us. What do you know about that period?
Average, 10 Qns, reedy, Apr 14 12
Average
reedy gold member
812 plays
19.
  Prehistoric Who am I? Part 5    
Multiple Choice
 25 Qns
We're halfway though my 'Prehistoric Who am I?' series. In this quiz, you'll meet twenty-five animals from the Cretaceous period. Enjoy!
Average, 25 Qns, ElusiveDream, Aug 29 15
Average
ElusiveDream
274 plays
20.
  Mass Extinctions    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
This is a quiz that people of all ages will know something about. It deals mainly with the extinction of the dinosaurs, but includes a few other questions on extinction. Have fun, and good luck!
Average, 10 Qns, Cooperphysics, Dec 14 07
Average
Cooperphysics
4633 plays
21.
  Raiders of the Lost Shark   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Megalodon. An extinct species of shark that lived a while ago, but is still talked about today, especially in popular culture. See what you know about this lost shark. Swim carefully...
Average, 10 Qns, LeoDaVinci, May 07 20
Average
LeoDaVinci editor
May 07 20
190 plays
22.
  Hominid Family Names   top quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Names of many members of our evolutionary family have changed over time due to new findings about the original fossils, genetic testing, etc. You should find this quiz as difficult as my first: Human Evolution vs. Creationism. Comments are welcomed.
Tough, 10 Qns, RSKimball, Nov 02 18
Tough
RSKimball
Nov 02 18
784 plays
23.
  Ice Age Giants   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
The last Ice Age, or Pleistocene era, began around 1.8 million years ago and ended 12,000 years in the past. Let's meet some of the huge creatures that inhabited the earth during that time period!
Average, 10 Qns, stephgm67, Mar 06 17
Average
stephgm67 gold member
211 plays
24.
  Ultimate Predators   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Meet 10 of the most skilled and terrifying predators the Earth has ever seen.
Difficult, 10 Qns, Mr5, Dec 23 08
Difficult
Mr5
1559 plays
25.
  Prehistoric Who am I? Part 2    
Multiple Choice
 25 Qns
Welcome to the next 'Prehistoric Who am I?' quiz. This quiz features twenty-five animals from the Triassic and Jurassic periods.
Average, 25 Qns, ElusiveDream, Aug 14 19
Average
ElusiveDream
Aug 14 19
306 plays
26.
  Archaeopteryx etc editor best quiz    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
A quiz concerning one of the most fascinating fossil discoveries.
Difficult, 10 Qns, succubus, May 29 17
Difficult
succubus
May 29 17
2836 plays
27.
  Prehistoric Who am I? Part 6    
Multiple Choice
 25 Qns
Here it is! Prehistoric Who am I? Part 6. In this quiz, you'll meet another twenty-five animals from the Cretaceous period.
Average, 25 Qns, ElusiveDream, Nov 13 16
Average
ElusiveDream
246 plays
28.
  Cretaceous Parking Lot    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
This quiz has the same lay-out as my 'Jurassic Parking Lot' quiz, only this time it features dinosaurs from the Cretaceous.
Tough, 10 Qns, ElusiveDream, Jul 13 15
Tough
ElusiveDream
195 plays
29.
  Earth History: The Paleogene Period   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
The Paleogene was the period in Earth's history that occurred just after the dinosaurs went extinct. Come explore some of the interesting geological and biological events of the time.
Tough, 10 Qns, albert11, Aug 30 15
Tough
albert11
220 plays
30.
  Rainbow Fossils from the Eromanga Sea   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
The Eromanga Sea covered inland Australia during the Mesozoic period, leading to the formation of Australia's opal fields. Australia is unique in being the only country to have opalised dinosaur fossils, including many new specimens.
Average, 10 Qns, Tan72, Nov 07 21
Average
Tan72
Nov 07 21
129 plays
31.
  Those Ravishing Rudists    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Not nudists, RUDISTS. What is a rudist? Rudists are clams with delusions of grandeur. They were the major reef-builders during the...Hey! If you want to find out more, you should take this quiz, buddy! It'll be interesting-- I promise!
Average, 10 Qns, pu2-ke-qi-ri, Sep 09 22
Average
pu2-ke-qi-ri
Sep 09 22
600 plays
32.
  Prehistoric Who am I? Part 4    
Multiple Choice
 25 Qns
Welcome to Prehistoric Who am I? Part 4. I hope everyone's enjoying this quiz series. This time, you'll be meeting twenty-five animals from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.
Average, 25 Qns, ElusiveDream, Aug 20 15
Average
ElusiveDream
230 plays
33.
  Prehistoric Who am I? Part 7    
Multiple Choice
 25 Qns
Welcome to Prehistoric Who am I? Part 7. In this quiz, you'll meet twenty-five animals from the Late Cretaceous and Tertiary periods.
Average, 25 Qns, ElusiveDream, Dec 14 15
Average
ElusiveDream
236 plays
34.
  A Brief History of Australopithecines   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Australopithecines are our earliest human ancestors. How much do you know about the nearly one hundred years since their first discovery?
Difficult, 10 Qns, alliefarrell, Jan 22 07
Difficult
alliefarrell
1095 plays
35.
  Let's Go For a Ride in Our Time Machine    
Multiple Choice
 20 Qns
Hi! I'm Bella Dalton! This is my little brother, Matthew. We're going for a ride into Earth's past in our time machine. Why don't you come with us and see if you can identify the different creatures that we see?
Tough, 20 Qns, ElusiveDream, Feb 02 14
Tough
ElusiveDream
357 plays
36.
  A person, a place, a characteristic    
Multiple Choice
 15 Qns
When it comes to naming dinosaurs, they are usually named after one of three things: a person, a place or a bodily characteristic. Can you identify what these 15 dinosaurs were named after?
Average, 15 Qns, ElusiveDream, Aug 10 14
Average
ElusiveDream
289 plays
37.
  Megalodon, terror of the oceans    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Carcharodon megalodon is the ancestor of the great white shark, and the most fearsome predator that ever lived on land or sea.
Average, 10 Qns, annamc, Mar 30 17
Average
annamc
1007 plays
38.
  A Long, Long Time Ago    
Match Quiz
 15 Qns
Can you match the fossil to the geological period of time you would have found it in? You have a margin of error of millions of years on your answers! Note: MYA = million years ago.
Difficult, 15 Qns, nautilator, Jan 04 18
Difficult
nautilator
Jan 04 18
160 plays
39.
  Prehistoric Who am I? Part 1    
Multiple Choice
 25 Qns
Use the clues provided to correctly identify these twenty-five prehistoric creatures from the Devonian, Carboniferous, Permian and Triassic periods.
Average, 25 Qns, ElusiveDream, Mar 13 20
Average
ElusiveDream
Mar 13 20
260 plays
40.
  The Burgess Shale   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
The Burgess Shale: the Cambrian explosion of life. But I'm mostly concerned about the weird and wacky critters that haunted that continental shelf 540 million years ago.
Tough, 10 Qns, pu2-ke-qi-ri, Feb 28 06
Tough
pu2-ke-qi-ri
888 plays
41.
  Mammals but not Men or Mammoths    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Most palaeontology for non-experts seems to be dinosaurs (with Mesozoic sea reptiles and pterosaurs), mammoths or prehistoric men so this quiz is not about them.
Tough, 10 Qns, tnrees, Oct 19 13
Tough
tnrees
511 plays
42.
  Path of the Predators    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Over its 400 billion year history, our planet has been home to thousands of predatory animals. This quiz follows ten prehistoric predators. A big thanks to pent2go for this author quiz challenge.
Tough, 10 Qns, ElusiveDream, Apr 03 15
Tough
ElusiveDream
189 plays
43.
  Test your "dino" skills    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Dinosaurs are one of my passions, so I made my first quiz about them. I believe it is pretty easy - for a dinosaur lover that is. Have fun!
Tough, 10 Qns, Mr5, Apr 16 18
Tough
Mr5
Apr 16 18
1696 plays
44.
  Paleontology    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Ten questions about the pre-Holocene world.
Tough, 10 Qns, NathanRobison, May 24 18
Tough
NathanRobison
May 24 18
1649 plays
45.
  Saber-Tooth Cats    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
I did some research on these now extinct animals and wanted to share my knowledge. Good luck and I hope you learn something. I did while making the quiz!
Average, 10 Qns, superferd, May 30 21
Average
superferd
May 30 21
859 plays
46.
  Cretaceous Park    
Multiple Choice
 15 Qns
Use the clues provided to identify the following dinosaurs from the Cretaceous Period. Most are herbivores (plant-eater) with a few carnivores (meat-eater) and omnivores (meat/plant eater) added in.
Average, 15 Qns, ElusiveDream, Dec 18 12
Average
ElusiveDream
298 plays
47.
  Velociraptors I Have Known and Loved    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Welcome to my fourth author quiz challenge. Let's see how much you know about the deadly Velociraptor.
Average, 10 Qns, ElusiveDream, Mar 18 14
Average
ElusiveDream
266 plays
48.
  Fossil Finds near Lake Turkana    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
In the past thirty years, some of the world's most fascinating evolutionary finds have been excavated near Lake Turkana in northern Kenya. Here is a quiz to help keep you up to date with recent discoveries!
Difficult, 10 Qns, alliefarrell, Dec 28 06
Difficult
alliefarrell
664 plays
49.
  Triassic Parking Lot    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
You've played 'Jurassic Parking Lot'! You've played 'Cretaceous Parking Lot'! Now, welcome to 'Triassic Parking Lot'. Have fun getting to know some dinosaurs from the Triassic.
Tough, 10 Qns, ElusiveDream, Jul 15 15
Tough
ElusiveDream
147 plays
50.
  Cretaceous or Jurassic?    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
10 Dinosaurs for you. When did they first appear, Jurassic or Cretaceous Era?
Average, 10 Qns, awkins, Oct 07 19
Average
awkins
Oct 07 19
2006 plays
51.
  Dangerous Deadly Deinonychus    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Deinonychus was one of the most chillingly efficient prehistoric predators. Let's find out why.
Average, 10 Qns, ElusiveDream, Oct 13 14
Average
ElusiveDream
173 plays
52.
  When Did I Live?    
Match Quiz
 15 Qns
Match the prehistoric creatures to the time periods in which they lived.
Very Difficult, 15 Qns, ElusiveDream, Mar 04 17
Very Difficult
ElusiveDream
136 plays
53.
  No Dinosaurs. No Humans.    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Is there *any* paleontology quiz without dinosaurs? It's not like they ruled the earth forever...
Very Difficult, 10 Qns, alquinn, Apr 22 11
Very Difficult
alquinn
1654 plays
54.
  Sea Monsters: The swimming T-Rexes    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
This quiz is about the prehistoric marine life that ruled the seas. Good luck and test your knowledge on these sea monsters!
Tough, 10 Qns, dinotrek27, Oct 22 12
Tough
dinotrek27
265 plays
55.
  Random Paleontology Knowledge    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
This is pretty random Paleo knowledge, but some of it might be so specific as to be difficult.
Difficult, 10 Qns, whoneedsthesefacts, May 11 23
Difficult
whoneedsthesefacts
May 11 23
1354 plays
56.
  Fossilized Sharks    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Here is a mixture of questions on extinct and modern day sharks.
Difficult, 10 Qns, almach, Feb 04 14
Difficult
almach
688 plays
57.
  They Are Not Dinosaurs    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
A quiz on animals that are approximately contemporary with the dinosaurs.
Difficult, 10 Qns, tnrees, Oct 18 16
Difficult
tnrees
891 plays
58.
  Extinct Sharks    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Here is a mixture of questions mostly on extinct sharks.
Tough, 10 Qns, almach, Jul 29 10
Tough
almach
617 plays
59.
  Real Dragons: The Masters Of The Sky    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
This test in my opinion is pretty tricky. Not for the faint of heart :) Think you know about the greatest flying creatures of all time? This is one way to find out...
Tough, 10 Qns, dinotrek27, Oct 29 12
Tough
dinotrek27
293 plays
60.
  Andrewsarchus    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Andrewsarchus lived millions of years ago. Let's see how much you know about this prehistoric beast.
Average, 10 Qns, Rome14, Mar 12 07
Average
Rome14
437 plays

Paleontology Trivia Questions

1. What does the name 'pterodactyl' mean?

From Quiz
Badass Hungry Pterodactyl

Answer: Winged finger

'Pterodactyl' comes from the Greek 'pteron' (wing) and 'daktulos' (finger), because it had wings made of skin and muscle, which stretched from its fourth finger to its hind limbs. The official scientific name for the pterodactyl is Pterodactylus antiquus, and it is the only species in the Pterodactylus genus. The pterodactyl belonged to the Pterosauria family, a family of flying reptiles ('Pterosaur' meaning 'winged lizard').

2. Opalised fossils are created when empty spaces within the deceased animal or plant are replaced by a particular mineraloid often associated with glass and sand. Which mineraloid is this?

From Quiz Rainbow Fossils from the Eromanga Sea

Answer: Silica

Opal fossils are particularly rare, as they rely on a series of particular events to occur. Inland seas, such as those found during the Cretaceous period in Australia needed to recede, leading sediments to mix with reactive minerals to form a type of sandstone. These rocks began to weather, leading to the presence of silica. Opal is formed from a solution of silicon dioxide and water. As water ran down through the earth, it picked up silica from sandstone, and carried this silica-rich solution into cracks and voids caused by natural faults or decomposing fossils.

3. Megalodon is an extinct species of shark that lived long ago. What does 'megalodon' mean?

From Quiz Raiders of the Lost Shark

Answer: Giant tooth

Megalodon is the species of giant sharks that lived millions of years ago, but seems to have died out somewhere between 1.5 and 3.6 million years ago, the best guess being around 2.6 million years ago. In Greek, the name 'megalodon' means 'giant tooth'. The best evidence for megalodon is the giant tooth fossils that have been found that prove its existence.

4. Badjcinus turnbulli was a carnivorous marsupial of the family Thylacinidae, which lived around 25-30 million years ago. What is the common name for the most-recently extinct member of this family, which survived into the 20th century?

From Quiz Footprints on the Sands of Time

Answer: Tasmanian tiger

Also known as the thylacine, the Tasmanian tiger was the largest carnivorous marsupial until its extinction. All extant carnivorous marsupials are in the family Dasyuridae, and include the incorrect options. The genus Badjcinus got its name from the words 'badj' (meaning expert hunter in the Wanyi language) and 'kynos' (meaning dog in Greek). The family name Thylacinidae has the same Greek root. B. turnbulli, the only known member of the genus, was quite small, probably about half the weight of a fully grown domestic cat. It is known to have been carnivorous from its dentition, and suspected to have been arboreal because its fossils have been found with a number of rainforest species.

5. In 1677, Robert Plot described a femur that was found in England. What did he conclude that it was?

From Quiz Gone, But Not Forgotten

Answer: The bone of a giant

The concept of dinosaurs was not common in the 17th century. Many scientists of the era believed that fossils were just unusually-shaped rocks that happened to look like body parts. At first, Robert Plot considered the idea of the femur belonging to an elephant brought to England during Roman rule, but he decided that the bone was too big for an elephant. Instead, he concluded that it had come from a giant. Although the original fossil has been lost, detailed drawings of the thighbone show that it belonged to a Megalosaurus.

6. In the early 1980s, fossilized dinosaur bones were discovered near the Narmada River valley in Gujarat. Its unusual head crest led to it being named 'Rajasaurus'. What does 'Raja' mean in Sanskrit?

From Quiz The Four Winds Uncover Fossils in India

Answer: King

The name Rajasaurus translates to 'King of Lizards' with Raja being the Sanskrit word for king. Further research into the various bones found and thought to be part of the Rajasaurus have led to the understanding that this animal evolved after the Indian subcontinent had separated from the ancient landmass called Gondwana. As a result, the remains of the Rajasaurus have only been found on the Indian peninsula. In 2003, scientists agreed that the Rajasaurus could be classified as a separate genus altogether, belonging to the Abelisauridae family.

7. Who am I? I'm a small Nodosaur with a name meaning "Animated living fortress". I lived in the USA during the Cenomanian and Turonian stages of the late Cretaceous period.

From Quiz Prehistoric Who am I? Part 7

Answer: Animantarx

Nodosaurs were primitive members of the Ankylosaur family. Named by K. Carpenter, J. I. Kirkland, D. L. Burge and J. Bird in 1999, Animantarx is known from remains consisting of a partial skull as well as pieces of the ribs, legs and backbone. It was relatively small, measuring around three metres long. The other animals listed were also Nodosaurs. Niobrarasaurus means "Lizard from the Niobrara chalk", Edmontonia means "From Edmonton" and Struthiosaurus means "Ostrich lizard".

8. Who am I? I was a medium-sized Tyrannosaur. I lived in Mongolia during the Maastrichtian stage of the late Cretaceous period and my name means "Different branch".

From Quiz Prehistoric Who am I? Part 6

Answer: Alioramus

Named by Sergei Kurzanov in 1976, Alioramus is known from a single partial skeleton consisting of parts of the skull and some foot bones. Its name comes from the fact that it represents a distinct branch of Tyrannosaurid evolution that left the main evolutionary line early in the late Cretaceous. The other animals listed were also Tyrannosaurs. Nanotyrannus means "Dwarf tyrant", Albertosaurus means "Alberta lizard" and Appalachiosaurus means "Lizard of the Appalachians".

9. After the extinction of the dinosaurs, many ecological niches were left vacant. This allowed small mammals to evolve into larger beings. What period of Earth's history does the Paleogene roughly cover?

From Quiz Earth History: The Paleogene Period

Answer: 65-24 million years ago

The Paleogene is actually a sub-period of the Tertiary Period, which covers a large portion of the Cenozoic Era. The beginning of the Cenozoic marked both the ending of the Mesozoic Era and the Cretaceous Period, about 65 million years ago. The Tertiary is split up into the Paleogene (65-24 mya) and the Neogene (24-1.8 mya), which are in turn divided into Epochs. Epochs of the Paleogene are the Paleocene, Eocene, and Oligocene.

10. Who am I? I lived in England during the Anisian stage of the middle Triassic period. I was a herbivorous Diapsid with special teeth for digging up roots. My name means "Beaked lizard".

From Quiz Prehistoric Who am I? Part 2

Answer: Rhyncosaurus

Named by Sir Richard Owen in 1841, Rhyncosaurus was a very small animal, measuring less than one metre long. The structure of its skull indicates that it had a good sense of smell but poor hearing. Of the other animals listed, two (Hyperodapedon and Mesosuchus) were rhyncosaurs and one (Trilophosaurus) was a more primitive diapsid. Mesosuchus means "Middle crocodile", Trilophosaurus means "Three crested lizard" and Hyperodapedon means "Best pestle surface".

11. The Berlin Specimen is the best-known example of what rare animal, believed to have been one of the world's first birds?

From Quiz German Paleontology

Answer: Archaeopteryx

Archaeopteryx, sometimes called Urvogel in Germany, is one of the world's first birds. It lived during the Jurassic era and had many reptilian features, but also notably had feathers. These features have made it a much-celebrated transitional fossil between dinosaurs and birds. If you've ever seen pictures of Archaeopteryx, you've probably seen the Berlin Specimen. It's the well-preserved fossil with its neck arched back, found by a farmer who sold it to buy a cow. Archaeopteryx skeletons are so rare that each one has an individual name or label.

12. When were the first Deinonychus fossils found?

From Quiz Dangerous Deadly Deinonychus

Answer: 1931

The first Deinonychus fossils were discovered by palaeontologist Barnum Brown in 1931 near the town of Bilings, Montana. He named the new dinosaur Daptosaurus ("Active Lizard") but failed to publish any scientific papers that would have Daptosaurus officially named and recognised. Thirty-three years later, in 1964, another palaeontologist, John Ostrom, discovered more of the same fossils. Since Daptosaurus wasn't scientifically recognised, he was able to have the name changed. Thus, in 1969, Daptosaurus became Deinonychus.

13. "Hi, I'm Avaceratops. When palaeontologist Peter Dodson named me in 1986, from whom was my name derived?"

From Quiz A person, a place, a characteristic

Answer: my discoverer's wife

Avaceratops means "Ava's Horned Face". It was first discovered by a fossil dealer, Eddie Cole, in Montana, USA, in 1981. When palaeontologist Peter Dodson formally described the new dinosaur, he named it after Mr Cole's wife, Ava.

14. In what year was Velociraptor first discovered?

From Quiz Velociraptors I Have Known and Loved

Answer: 1924

The first specimens of Velociraptor were discovered in 1924 by a group of American palaeontologists visiting Mongolia's Gobi Desert. However, it was unclear what type of dinosaur Velociraptor was until the 1964 discovery of its larger relative, Deinonychus.

15. Tyrannosaurus rex is perhaps one of the most famous of the dinosaurs. On which continent have the most T-rex fossils been found?

From Quiz Remains of the Day

Answer: North America

The first (documented) T-rex fossils were discovered in Colorado in 1874. About 30 specimens are known to exist. The best preserved one, nicknamed "Sue," was found in South Dakota in 1990, and was sold to the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago for $7.6 million dollars. Tyrannosaurus rex was a carnivore who lived during the late Cretaceous Period, just before dinosaurs became extinct.

16. Ammonites have left their spiral shells as fossils. The shell is divided in several chambers. Which of the chambers did the ammonite inhabit?

From Quiz The Bare Bones of Water

Answer: The largest one, on the outside end of the spiral

As is the case with many extant molluscs, the ammonites always lived inside their shell, reaching out to the outer world only with their feeding organs. Similarly to extant reptiles, the ammonites had to grow a larger shell each time the previous one became too small. But ammonites didn't shed the shell: they just added a larger compartment, and moved towards the outer chamber (the largest at that time).

17. What physical feature of the trilobite was used to decide its name?

From Quiz The Trouble With Trilobites

Answer: Three lobes

The name trilobite means "three lobed". The earliest fossil records of trilobite species date back over 500 million years.

18. What is the scientific name of the earliest or most primitive bird?

From Quiz Real Dragons: The Masters Of The Sky

Answer: Archaeopteryx

This creature was really more dinosaur than bird with teeth, claws on the wing and a long tail. However, it has many other traits that have led scientists to classify it as the first bird. This creature lived in the Middle Jurassic Period.

19. A prehistoric marine predator, the Megalodon could be described as a giant (~20 meters / ~60 feet) long version of this living creature. What is this creature, itself considered a monster thanks to films like "Jaws" (1975)?

From Quiz Real! Dead! Monsters!

Answer: great white shark

Fossilized Megalodon teeth were once thought to be petrified dragon tongues. The Megalodon lived approximately 25 to 1.5 million years ago.

20. What is considered to be another accepted name for "Cro-magnon Man"?

From Quiz Hominid Family Names

Answer: Homo sapiens

From a strictly morphologic perspective, Cro-magnon was the same as a modern human or a Homo sapiens. Homo erectus is a much more ancient "Human" than Cro-magnon. The so-called "Piltdown Man" was proved conclusively to be a fraud in the 1950's. Homo neanderthalensis existed in Europe at the same time as Cro-magnon humans. Neanderthals are a different species from modern humans.

21. Which Order of mammals do humans belong to?

From Quiz Meet the Ancestors

Answer: Primates

Primates is the order of mammals that includes humans, apes, monkeys and lemurs. Carnivora (carnivores) is the order that includes dogs, cats, etc. Ceboidea is a "super-family", and includes the New World monkeys (spider-monkeys, marmosets, etc). Hominidae includes humans, but is a family and not an order: it is a group within the Primates.

22. In the species name Kenyanthropus platyops, what does 'platyops' mean?

From Quiz Fossil Finds near Lake Turkana

Answer: flat-faced

'Flat-faced' is an approximate translation of the Greek word 'platyops'. In this case it refers to the atypical smaller degree of subnasal prognathism - in English, that means that unlike most species, its jaw doesn't jut out much beneath the nose. Kenyanthropus platyops was discovered by Kenyan research assistant Justus Erus, a member of Meave Leakey's team, and excavated in 1998 and 1999 at Lomekwi, in the Nachukui Region just west of Lake Turkana.

23. Dr. Raymond Dart, a professor of anatomy at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, identified the first australopithecine in 1924. What kind was it?

From Quiz A Brief History of Australopithecines

Answer: Australopithecus africanus

Dart discovered a skull which he called Australopithecus africanus, which means "southern ape-man from Africa". He found this skull in a crate of fossil-bearing rock from a lime quarry in Taung, in what was then Bechuanaland, and is now Botswana. The skull was very small, and Dart called it the Taung Child. Dart's discovery was not taken seriously for 23 years. Scientists believed it was the skull of an ape. Finally, in 1947, similar fossils were found in Sterkfontein, South Africa, and brought credence to Dart's find; and in 1950, eminent scientist Wilfrid Le Gros Clark cleared Dart's name forever in a scientific journal. The Taung Baby was probably about six years old when it died.

24. Prehistoric Megalodon was the largest predator that ever lived, dwarfing its modern relative, the great white shark. If you could place a fully grown Megalodon upright on its nose, it would be as tall as what?

From Quiz Megalodon, terror of the oceans

Answer: a six-story building

Megalodon was about 65 ft long, the height of a six-story building. Scientists extrapolate the size of megalodon from the size of fossilised teeth and even complete fossilised jaws that have been found. The jaws can be up to 3 metres wide. You could drive a car through a set of Megalodon dentures without scraping the paint! Liberty is 151ft, California redwoods are 330ft and the Eiffel tower 986 ft - a bit ambitious even for Megalodon!

25. What is the most noticeable feature about the Middle Triassic reptile Tanystropheus?

From Quiz They Are Not Dinosaurs

Answer: Its very long neck

The neck of an adult Tanystropheus could be five times the length of its body but it only contained 9 to 12 vertebrae so it was not very flexible. The neck of one specimen was mistaken for the wing of a pterosaur. It grew to up to six metres long, was a poor swimmer and apparently could shed its tail like some modern lizards.

26. In what country is the Burgess Shale formation located?

From Quiz The Burgess Shale

Answer: Canada

It's found in Yoho National Park, on the border between British Columbia and Alberta.

27. What happens to an animal when it becomes extinct?

From Quiz Mass Extinctions

Answer: it is killed off completely

Over 99 percent of all animals that existed on Earth are now extinct. A few recent examples of extinction are the dodo bird and the passenger pigeon.

28. Horses originated on which continent? (Name the modern day continent that contains the earliest-known horses).

From Quiz Random Paleontology Knowledge

Answer: The Americas

Horses originated in the Americas and went extinct there after dispersing to other continents. They were returned by the Spanish Conquistadors.

29. In what year was the first Archaeopteryx fossil, a feather found?

From Quiz Archaeopteryx etc

Answer: 1860

The feather was an enlightening discovery. Not only was it 150 million years old, but it had aerodynamic qualities. The feather pre-dated the earliest birds that were known at the time.

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