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Quiz about Endangered The Chinese Alligator
Quiz about Endangered The Chinese Alligator

Endangered: The Chinese Alligator Quiz


One of two living alligator species in the world, the Chinese alligator is yet another beautiful creature in serious risk of disappearing forever. Find out about it and what is being done to save it by taking this quiz, before we never see it again.

A multiple-choice quiz by Daaanieeel. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
Daaanieeel
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
371,819
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
590
Last 3 plays: jonnowales (4/10), matthewpokemon (8/10), Chavs (9/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. Once found all over China, the Chinese alligator's habitat has now been restricted to a small pocket of which river in east China? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. The local name for the Chinese alligator is "T'o" or "Yow-Lung" (or another variation), which translates in to which English word? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. The Chinese alligator is slightly larger than its cousin the American alligator.


Question 4 of 10
4. Which of these is a unusual feature of the Chinese alligator's appearance? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. An interesting fact about the Chinese alligator is that they lay the smallest eggs of any crocodilian.


Question 6 of 10
6. Which of these is the Chinese alligator least likely to consume? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. While Chinese alligators do not "hibernate" exactly, they do enter a hibernation-like state called "brumation". For approximately how many months do they brumate for? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. Poisons set to eliminate which pest have contributed to the decline in Chinese alligator population? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. In traditional Chinese medicine, Chinese alligator meat is thought to prevent which disease? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. While the future may seem bleak for the Chinese alligator, there is a glimmer of hope. Breeding of the species in captivity has been very successful worldwide and efforts to reintroduce captive-bred specimens to the wild are well under way.

In what year were the first captive bred Chinese alligator specimens reintroduced to the wild?
Hint



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Most Recent Scores
Apr 11 2024 : jonnowales: 4/10
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Score Distribution

quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Once found all over China, the Chinese alligator's habitat has now been restricted to a small pocket of which river in east China?

Answer: Yangtze River

Originally, the Chinese alligator could be found across a large portion of China, but its distribution has steadily declined. In fact, its geographical range has reduced by a staggering 90%. The Chinese alligator's habitat has now been restricted to small ponds, ditches and swamps situated in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River in east China (specifically, in the Anhui Province and small parts of neighbouring provinces). In 1998, the biggest area in which the alligator lived was a small pond of just 11 alligators. The biggest reason for this dramatic decrease is the conversion of the wetlands they love and live in into rice paddies and farmland.

The other answers are also Chinese rivers.
2. The local name for the Chinese alligator is "T'o" or "Yow-Lung" (or another variation), which translates in to which English word?

Answer: Dragon

The scientific name of the Chinese alligator is Alligator sinensis, while its local name is "T'o", 'Yow-Lung" or "Tu Long" (or another variation), which in English translates to "dragon" or "muddy dragon". Some writers speculate that the Chinese alligator likely inspired the creation of the mythical Chinese dragon, which is deeply engrained in Chinese culture, playing an important part in Chinese legends and appearing as one of the animals of the Chinese zodiac amongst other things. Dinosaur bones may also have inspired the Chinese dragon.
3. The Chinese alligator is slightly larger than its cousin the American alligator.

Answer: False

The Chinese alligator is actually quite small when compared to its American cousin. While the average American alligator measures in at about 4.6 m (15 ft) for males and 3 m (9.8 ft) for females and weigh in at about 453 kg (1000 lb), the Chinese alligator typically measures in at about 1.5 m (5 ft) and 36 kg (80 lb). Very large Chinese alligator males may push 2.1m in length and 45 kg (100 lb) in weight.
4. Which of these is a unusual feature of the Chinese alligator's appearance?

Answer: Its entire body is armoured

An unusual feature of the Chinese alligator appearance is that their entire body is fully "armoured" (including their belly and eyelids), which is true of only a few crocodilians. They have a relatively narrow snout (when compared to the American alligator) with a slightly turned up end and blunt teeth for crushing the shells of some of their prey. They're also considered to be the most docile crocodilian species (Chinese writings dating back more than 2000 years describe them as "harmless to humans"), but they can still inflict serious harm if provoked.

The other answers are wrong as the Chinese alligator has blunt teeth and do not have short, stubby tails or very long necks.
5. An interesting fact about the Chinese alligator is that they lay the smallest eggs of any crocodilian.

Answer: True

Chinese alligators do in fact, lay the smallest eggs of the crocodilians, even when compared to species with smaller females. During the mating season, both the males and females will produce loud bellowing sounds to locate a mate. Nesting occurs from July to August and usually results in anything from 10-50 eggs which are laid in nests made of plant material.

The temperature of the eggs during incubation determines the sex of the offspring. At about 31 degrees Celsius (87.8 Fahrenheit) the nest will produce a roughly even amount of males and females, with warmer temperatures producing more males and cooler temperatures resulting in more females. Chinese alligators reach sexual maturity at about five to seven years old, and can reproduce into their fifties (in captivity).
6. Which of these is the Chinese alligator least likely to consume?

Answer: Cattle

Chinese alligators will spend most of the day raising their body temperature by basking in the sun, and once their body temperature is high enough they will turn nocturnal and hunt at night. They mostly prey on aquatic molluscs like mussels and snails, for which their snouts and teeth are well adapted to crushing the shells of.

They will also eat fish often and will opportunistically prey on waterbirds, insects and small mammals such as water rats. Local farmers often blame the Chinese alligator for preying on their livestock, and as a result their population has decreased due to human extermination.

However, livestock such as cattle and sheep are too large for the alligator to consider food and are often too hard to catch, so the animals are sadly exterminated for no real reason.
7. While Chinese alligators do not "hibernate" exactly, they do enter a hibernation-like state called "brumation". For approximately how many months do they brumate for?

Answer: 5-7

Hibernation is a state that endothermic (warm-blooded) animals like mammals and birds enter. As ectothermic (cold-blooded) animals like reptiles cannot control their own body temperature they cannot enter a true hibernation state like endotherms but may enter a state known as brumation. Brumation differs from hibernation in the metabolic processes involved. While they do remain dormant like hibernating animals, they do not "sleep" but just remain inactive. Their metabolism also slows considerably and they usually do not eat (though they will consume water).

Chinese alligators usually brumate during the cold, dry months of winter (about October-March, give or take). They spend this time in complex systems of underground tunnels and burrows. These systems are unique to them amongst the crocodilian species. As the temperatures gradually increase, they will leave these systems and bask in the sun to raise their body temperatures, though they may still use the burrows occasionally.
8. Poisons set to eliminate which pest have contributed to the decline in Chinese alligator population?

Answer: Rats

Rat poison has been blamed as a contributing factor to Chinese alligator population decrease. Alligators may eat the traps set for the rats and thus they become poisoned themselves, or they may eat rats that have been poisoned as small mammals are part of the alligator's diet.

The overuse of fertilisers by local farmers has also contributed, as it affects the alligator's breeding and egg laying. Extermination due to fear, consumption or the threat to livelihood (the burrows the alligator makes can cause drainage and irrigation problems on farms and the alligator is frequently blamed for the disappearance of livestock or waterbirds by farmers) is also a major threat.
9. In traditional Chinese medicine, Chinese alligator meat is thought to prevent which disease?

Answer: Cancer

Human consumption is a major threat to the Chinese alligator's survival as a species. In China, the meat is considered a delicacy and is often available in restaurants and markets. To combat this, small amounts of alligator meat have been legally sold by breeding centres to restaurants and markets when captive populations are high enough, with the money collected used to fund the continual research efforts of these centres.

In traditional Chinese medicine, the meat of the alligator is thought to prevent cancer and cure the common cold and the organs are also sold as cures for a number of ailments.
10. While the future may seem bleak for the Chinese alligator, there is a glimmer of hope. Breeding of the species in captivity has been very successful worldwide and efforts to reintroduce captive-bred specimens to the wild are well under way. In what year were the first captive bred Chinese alligator specimens reintroduced to the wild?

Answer: 2003

The Chinese alligator is a critically endangered species according to the IUCN Red List, with fewer than 130 specimens remaining in the wild. This tiny population has earned the species the title of the world's most endangered crocodilian.

Breeding of the Chinese alligator in captivity, however, has been immensely successful, with the captive population estimated to be over 10,000 in 2010. The largest breeding centre of the alligator in the world is the Changxing Nature Reserve and Breeding Center for Chinese Alligators (CNRBRCCA) in Zhejiang Province, which holds an estimated 4000 specimens (according to a 2013 report). The other major breeding centre is the Anhui Research Center for Chinese Alligator Reproduction (ARCCAR), which like the CNRBRCCA opens itself up as a tourist attraction to help fund their research and educate the public about the species' plight. St. Louis Zoo, St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park, Philadelphia Zoo and San Diego Zoo are other major worldwide zoos that host the species. The major focus for breeding centres is to re-establish and reintroduce the species. The first captive-born Chinese alligators were reintroduced to their natural habitat in 2003 from United States zoos such as St. Louis Zoo and many more have been introduced since, with the hope that the wild population will stabilise to ensure the species' survival in the wild.
Source: Author Daaanieeel

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