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Quiz about Eat Like a Bird and Other Hornswoggles
Quiz about Eat Like a Bird and Other Hornswoggles

Eat Like a Bird and Other Hornswoggles Quiz

Match each animal with its stereotype, such as bears and honey, or foxes and sly. In the answer info read why these well-accepted matches just may be a hornswoggle, meaning snowjob or deception.

A matching quiz by Godwit. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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3 mins
Match Quiz
Quiz #
Dec 03 21
# Qns
Very Easy
Avg Score
10 / 10
Top 20% Quiz
Last 3 plays: gogetem (10/10), KittyLover2619 (10/10), Guest 98 (8/10).
(a) Drag-and-drop from the right to the left, or (b) click on a right side answer box and then on a left side box to move it.
1. Cheese  
2. Carrots  
3. Carry off infants  
4. Cream and milk  
5. This school eats us  
6. Sparse eater   
7. Head in the sand  
8. Dies after one sting  
9. Proud, lazy hunter  
10. Bananas  

Select each answer

1. Cheese
2. Carrots
3. Carry off infants
4. Cream and milk
5. This school eats us
6. Sparse eater
7. Head in the sand
8. Dies after one sting
9. Proud, lazy hunter
10. Bananas

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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Cheese

Answer: Mice

Mice and cheese are strongly paired in our minds. As it turns out, research shows mice are not fond of cheese. What? I know! Why are we so sure they love cheese, then?

Cheese is unhealthy for mice, and too smelly for their highly refined noses. Yes, they'll eat it, and practically anything else, but by far their preferred food is grain, like cereal, and fruits. It turns out though that a hunk of bright yellow cheese looks great on camera, whereas an on-screen mouse going to great lengths to fool a cat so it can close in on say, a bag of oats, just isn't entertaining. Picture Tom the cartoon cat commanding Jerry, "Step away from the quinoa!"
2. Carrots

Answer: Rabbits

In the wild, rabbits eat wild greens, like clover and grass, not carrots, which are so sugary they cause tooth decay and other health issues, if bunny could dig them out of the ground. I did have a pet bunny who was crazy for cilantro. They don't like peppermint or garden garlic.

How did we come to associate carrots with bunnies? It was Bugs Bunny that did it. He just loves carrots, according to his creators, who loved a scene from "It Happened One Night" (1934). There, Clark Gable snacks on carrots while talking fast with his mouth full. Using that scene as a model for Bugs is just where we were hornswoggled. Porky Pig has been trying to shoot a talking rabbit for stealing carrots from his garden since 1938.

We've been buffaloed on another count, that rabbits are gentle and sweet, like Thumper. Actually, males will fight each other to the death. My pet rabbit aggressively rushed strangers at the door. Wild rabbits use claws, teeth and a good kick to the face to fight off predators, though skilled escape through underbrush is preferred.
3. Carry off infants

Answer: Eagles

Oh the rumors fly, warning that eagles carry off our dogs and babies. Bald eagles are indeed powerful and aggressive birds, determined to feed their young, but here's why your baby is safe even if lying outdoors on a blanket like a soft, squiggly morsel.

Eagles are limited by both aerodynamics, and airspeed. For an eagle to swoop in, grab and take off again requires that bird to fly at top speed with maximum momentum to lift prey. Its wings have to support the bird itself, at 8-12 lbs (3.6-5.4 kg), plus its victim. Long story short, an eagle can successfully pick up and carry off only about five pounds (2.26 kg), and only if conditions are right.

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, we got hornswoggled by the occasional hysterical report. Some of us have observed immature young eagles, who just don't know any better, trying to hook a huge fish, a big piece of floating debris, or a large dog. Their attempts are awkward and short-lived, but dupe us into thinking eagle kid-nap is a real danger.

Primarily, they eat fish, so fear not attack from the skies.
4. Cream and milk

Answer: Cats

Cats sure enjoy cream or milk, because it just tastes good, and they look adorable with a milk moustache, so they faked us out on this one. Fact is, all cats are lactose intolerant, so the treat often sits poorly in the tummy. Cats do not associate the drink with the pain and upset that later follows, so they do the hornswoggling themselves, begging with beautiful eyes and mewing insistence that they would LOVE some milk, please.

However, kittens stop drinking their mother's milk at four to six weeks old, and thereafter lose the enzymes needed to process milk. Severe reactions include painful gas, tummy cramps, vomiting and diarrhea. Just like many of us, in fact, as we also lose our infant tolerance for milk, though we do utilize its many nutrients.

There's no nutritional need for cats to consume milk products, so, veterinarians recommend we resist. Perhaps make a catnip tea instead--just sprinkle a little catnip into water--which most cats find delicious. You can easily grow your own catnip at your place, but in a pot, please, because it spreads.
5. This school eats us

Answer: Piranhas

It's true the savage-looking fish called piranhas have razor-sharp teeth, and we've been told they are carnivorous monsters who, as a group with lightning speed, blitz and strip a person of all flesh in seconds. Oh my! The horror of it is fascinating. However, we've been gammoned.

The belief that they organize an assault to de-flesh a person likely came from a 1914 trip to Brazil by Theodore Roosevelt. He witnessed a school of piranhas strip a cow of all meat in what he described as a "vicious" feeding frenzy in his book "Through the Brazilian Wilderness". Movies followed, showing helpless victims consumed before our eyes. But eventually the deception was exposed: those fish were gathered and purposely left unfed for some time before Roosevelt arrived, so as to stage an impressive attack. It was known that if very hungry, piranhas sometimes do school together and rip off flesh, even that of each other, in a rather spectacular way. It's not their nature, though.

There have been incidents of damaged hands or feet, and at least one person died. But the fish are as a rule timid, not predatory, and they school for protection, not attack. They eat vegetable matter, insects, birds and reptiles, fish, seeds and fruit in the South American rivers and lakes where they live. Still, if someone asked if they could keep a few shy little piranha in my pool, if I had one, I'd say, "Uh, no thanks".
6. Sparse eater

Answer: Sparrow

The popular saying, "To eat like a sparrow" or "eat like a bird" suggests a picky or spare eater. Like the little chickadee who plucks up a single seed and then sits on a branch pecking at it. One is also said to be "thin as a rail"--a rail being a slender, long-necked bird. Not a fence or a stair rail. Hornswoggled! Cozened! And spoofed!

Generally the smaller the bird, the more it eats relative to its weight. Like most small birds the sparrow eats at least one-quarter to one-half its body weight every day. The teeny hummingbird eats twice its weight each day. If you weigh 130, you would eat 260 lbs of food.

A medium-sized bird eats about 12 percent of its weight every day. If you weigh 150, that's 18 lbs of food, or about six extra-large pizzas. A hawk consumes one or two prey each day, providing it can be found.

So someone who "eats like a bird" is actually a pig.

Speaking of birds and hornswoggles, stale white bread has long been a favorite meal we toss out for geese and ducks.

Many recent studies conclude that this bread--or maybe our overzealous feeding with it-- may cause weight gain and malnutrition in birds, as well as a condition that deforms the wings. Bread is heavily processed with chemicals and preservatives as well. Experts say don't quit feeding them, but offer fresh or dry corn, bird seed, grapes, peas, vegetable scraps, strawberry leaves, or whole grain cereals, instead. Of course, most of us would rather eat bread and donuts than peas and sweet corn, and bread is very cheap, so--this is a hornswoggle we may be slow to give up.
7. Head in the sand

Answer: Ostrich

I'm among the fastest animals on earth, with long distance endurance. I can kill even a lion with my hefty kick. Instead I bury my tiny head in the sand, so I can't breathe, or see, and now I'm safe! Have you been hornswoggled by this myth? I can see the appeal, because sometimes we humans do put our heads in the sand--rather than face a fear head on.

But when you think about it, there's no rationale for the ostrich to behave like that. The gaff likely started long ago, when humans watched daddy ostrich dig a broad, deep hole in the sand in which to place eggs. Then the parents took turns dipping their beaks into the hole, to inspect and rotate the eggs. From a distance, their heads seem to be buried in the sand.

Another source may be that a nesting ostrich flops to the sand and flattens her body and tiny head into it, hoping she won't be seen by a passing predator. More often, though, she runs, diverting the predator from her eggs, easily outdistancing danger. So if you get scared, don't put your head in the sand. Run, kick or flop.
8. Dies after one sting

Answer: Bees

The belief that bees can only sting once and then die is not only a beguilement, it suggests that bees are suicidal kamikazes. We're hornswoggled on two counts there.

First, there's a single bee species (honey bees) that dies after a sting, but it can sting enemy insects repeatedly. The gentle honey bee has a barb which pulls free after a sting, but with humans, the stinger is trapped in thick skin, so a bee is ripped apart as she pulls away. There are many other species of bee, capable of stinging us more than once, but they must be provoked.

The Africanized honey bee (East African lowland bee) is a different story. It is a crossbred created (1956) to increase honey production. They are easily alarmed, react as a swarm, chase a perceived threat for long distances, and do kill, delivering ten times more stings than other bees. But humbug to the nickname "killer bees" and movies like, "The Swarm". They have killed about two people a year, but they don't comb the countryside looking for victims. Scientists are working to create a less reactive Africanized bee.

For the second bamboozle, if you believe "bees" sting once and die, you won't be prepared for wasps and yellow jackets, who will repeatedly sting the heck out of you! They like your attic, your car, your picnic, your perfume, everything sweet, and to sting flapping, hopping people. Touch their nest and uh-oh.

Identify them by a waspy waist (petiole) that looks like they are wearing a corset. Generally the brighter they are, the more they sting. Their legs hang down when they fly. You'll notice they aren't interested in flowers. They go after your jelly (jam) sandwich.

Wasps are fabulous at insect control and scavenger cleaning. They are important for pollination, and to late-season wine grapes. But in 2018 the New Zealand Department of Conservation determined that German and common wasps that target honey bees should be eradicated. I wonder. They might be fooling themselves. Similar rabbit, fishers, toad, carp and many other programs across the world haven't worked out so well.

In any case, you are in the know about one-time stings.
9. Proud, lazy hunter

Answer: Lion

For eons we adored the magnificent male lion for his beauty, ferocity and his literal harem and pride. There were wonderful TV shows like "Wild Kingdom" and "Daktari" where we could watch wild animals and learn about them. But oops, in interpreting what we observed, we hornswoggled ourselves.

More recently we realized it's the females who as a team stalk and take down food, provide for the pride, and also birth, care for and train the young cubs. The ladies finally get credit for their power, dedication, beauty and skill.

But to our minds Mr. Lion became just a handsome, lazy slug who pads up to their fresh kill and takes his fill, even though he did nothing to obtain it. Poor proud fellow, maligned like that!

He's not just lying around. He is powerful, fit, and independent, with important responsibilities. He must constantly patrol up to 100 square miles of territory (258 sq. km) and defend it, providing meals for himself as he goes. He must ward off intruders, safeguard all individuals in the pride, and successfully reproduce. If he is injured, or grows weak, so he cannot do his job, he might be ousted from the pride. He's up to all of it, but occasionally while home on guard he partakes in a kill the lionesses brought home.
10. Bananas

Answer: Monkeys

Monkeys adore grapes and love our processed bananas, but we've been bamboozled again! It's a myth that monkeys and bananas have a natural connection. In the wild monkeys have access to no bananas at all, or only to wild bananas, which has lots of hard seeds and little fruit. In their natural environment primates munch on flowers, grass, nuts, seeds and insects. In Tibet they eat lichen. Baboons, classified as monkeys, will eat rabbits and birds should they catch them. But in the natural world, if we're monkeys, "Yes, we have no bananas".

Cultivated bananas first crossed the seas from West Africa to Europe in the early fifteenth century, but these were a cooking variety, red and green, now called plantains. The sweet yellow banana we know and love was a mutant strain discovered in 1836 in Jamaica. For a source of monkey nutrition, these cultivated bananas are too sweet, causing tooth decay and a dangerous sugar imbalance. But tamed monkeys go bananas for cultivated bananas, and we offer them to pet, commercial and laboratory monkeys as a treat or a bribe. The "Curious George" (1939) books and TV series often show the beloved monkey with a banana. But now you know, he should be eating a flower, or a nut, instead.
Source: Author Godwit

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor rossian before going online.
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