Science That Will Blow Your Mind!

December 13th, 2021

Consider yourself a science buff? We love science trivia, so we've created this fun quiz to test your knowledge!

Warning: this quiz may blow your mind. (Photo: Unsplash / Francisco De Legarreta C.)

 

Put on your thinking cap… we’ve hunted through our books to put together a science trivia quiz that will blow your mind!

 

Results

#1. Which dinosaur is believed to have been the tallest?

Although it is hard to say for sure since complete skeletons are rarely found, scientists believe that Sauroposeidon is the tallest dinosaur ever known – it is estimated to have grown up to 18 metres tall!

Cover of 'Dinosaur Questions & Answers!' with a bright illustration of various dinosaurs in a landscape with volcanoes in the distance and a meteor in the blue sky. Love dinosaurs? Love quizzes? Then you’ll love Dinosaur Questions & Answers! (Perfect for ages 6 to 9)

 

 

#2. Can you identify this impressive Australian bird?

The Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus) is the largest, loudest and most striking of Australia’s riflebirds. Adult males of the species have a large iridescent breast-shield, which is used in the impressive courtship displays.

Cover of 'The Australian Bird Guide' featuring a brolga flying over the white title with a red-capped robin in the foreground perched on a branch. The cover is blue with a red 'Revised Edition' ribbon on the top left corner. Find out more: The Australian Bird Guide, Revised Edition

 

Illustration: Peter Marsack, The Australian Bird Guide, Revised Edition

 

#3. Fungi are more closely related to plants than animals. True or false?

It may sound surprising, but mushrooms are more closely related to you than to any plants.

Although many people think of fungi as ‘plant-like’, they actually sit in their own kingdom separate from both plants and animals. In the evolutionary tree of life, plants separated and headed their own way fairly early on, around 1.5 billion years ago, while the ancestors of animals and fungi continued on another path together before diverging about a billion years ago.

Front cover of Wild Mushrooming book which features a selection of fungi species in a square shape Find out more: Wild Mushrooming: A Guide for Foragers

 

Photo: Alison Pouliot – Amanita muscaria

 

#4. Kangaroo Grass (pictured) grows in woodlands and grasslands across Australia – what is the interesting way that it disperses its seeds?

Kangaroo Grass seeds have a sharp point and a long, thin tail called an awn. When it rains and the seeds get wet, they begin to move, wriggling away from the parent plant and burying themselves in the soil!

Cover of 'AmAZed!' featuring a mixture of photographs and illustrations surrounding the title, including a quoll, microscope, worm, shark and butterfly. Find out more: AmAZed! CSIRO’s A to Z of Biodiversity (Perfect for ages 6 to 12)

 

Photo: Australian National Herbarium

 

#5. The Wollemi Pine was thought to be extinct until it was discovered in what year?

Until the Wollemi Pine was discovered in 1994, scientists had only ever seen trees like it in fossils from millions of years ago. There are only about 100 Wollemi Pines known to exist in the wild, but you might find them growing in botanic gardens around Australia.

Cover of Plantastic! featuring illustrations of various Australian plants, flowers and animals surrounding the orange book title. Find out more: Plantastic! A to Z of Australian Plants (Perfect for ages 6 to 12)

 

Illustration: Rachel Gyan, Plantastic! A to Z of Australian Plants

 

#6. The Australian National Insect Collection is like a library of Australia's insect species. How many insect specimens does it currently hold?

There are approximately 12 million specimens in the Australian National Insect Collection at CSIRO. If you looked at each specimen for one second without stopping to eat or sleep, it would take you almost 139 days to see them all!

Cover of 'AmAZed!' featuring a mixture of photographs and illustrations surrounding the title, including a quoll, microscope, worm, shark and butterfly. Find out more: AmAZed! CSIRO’s A to Z of Biodiversity (Perfect for ages 6 to 12)

 

Photo: CSIRO, taken by Martin Ollman

 

#7. Macrocystis pyrifera, or giant bladder kelp (pictured), is the fastest-growing organism in the world – up to how much can it grow per day?

Giant bladder kelp can grow up to an astonishing 60cm per day. This giant kelp is found throughout the cool-temperate parts of the world. In the Southern Hemisphere its populations are shifting south and declining in some areas as waters warm, but it can still commonly be found washed up on beaches.

Cover of 'Beachcombing' featuring a photo of a washed up cluster of cream-coloured barnacle shells upon wet sand at a picturesque beach. Find out more: Beachcombing: A guide to seashores of the Southern Hemisphere

 

Photo: Ceridwen Fraser

 

#8. Coastal Spinifex (pictured) is commonly found on beach dunes from North East Queensland to Tasmania, and is a beach pioneer plant. What does this mean?

‘Beach pioneers’ are a varied collection of grass, sedge, herb and shrub species that are specialised at colonising shifting sand where the ocean meets the land. They help to trap and stabilise sand as well as begin the process of soil formation.

Coastal Spinifex has the distinction of being the first plant to colonise land along most of Australia’s east coast. As new deposits of sand are formed by wave and wind action, it sends out runners from higher up the foredune that take root in the loose sand.

Cover of 'Plants of Subtropical Eastern Australia', featuring photos of a flame tree above the title and author name, and three plant images across the bottom of the cover. Find out more: Plants of Subtropical Eastern Australia

 

Photo: Andrew Benwell

 

#9. Which of the following is NOT the common name of an Australian frog?

While many Australian frogs may seem like they are “singing”, none are commonly called Singing Froglets.

As its nickname suggests, the Quacking Froglet has a distinct loud duck-like quack repeated individually or quickly up to five or six times. The Beeping Froglet’s call is a repeated short nasal ‘neh’ or ‘neep’, while the Squelching Froglet’s call sounds like a high-pitched squelch, without a distinctive rattle or pulse.

Cover of 'Photographic Field Guide to Australian Frogs' showing the title on an orange background, with a large photo of Lytoria tyleri above and a strip of three frog photos beneath. Find out more: Photographic Field Guide to Australian Frogs

 

Photo: Mark G. Sanders – Quacking Froglet (Crinia georgiana)

 

#10. What common names is the mushroom Coprinus comatus (pictured) also known by?

Select all that apply:

Coprinus comatus are also known by the common names ‘lawyer’s wig’ and ‘shaggy inkcap’, although some may also call it  ‘shaggy mane’ – and it’s not hard to see why!

These mushrooms are among a number of species commonly called ‘inkcaps’, because of their unusual habit of ‘auto-digesting’ or ‘deliquescing’ as a means to aid spore release. When mature, the lamellae dissolve into an inky mass, the ‘ink’ of which was once used for writing.

Front cover of Wild Mushrooming book which features a selection of fungi species in a square shape Find out more: Wild Mushrooming: A Guide for Foragers

 

Photo: Alison Pouliot

 

finish

 

How did you score? If you need to brush up on your knowledge, start with the top-notch titles we pulled our quiz questions from. You can order them through your favourite bookshop or purchase from us online – just click each cover for details!

Cover of 'AmAZed!' featuring a mixture of photographs and illustrations surrounding the title, including a quoll, microscope, worm, shark and butterfly. Cover of 'Dinosaur Questions & Answers!' with a bright illustration of various dinosaurs in a landscape with volcanoes in the distance and a meteor in the blue sky. Cover of 'Plantastic!' featuring illustrations of various Australian plants, flowers and animals surrounding the book title. Cover of 'Beachcombing' featuring a photo of a washed up cluster of cream-coloured barnacle shells upon wet sand at a picturesque beach.
Cover of 'Photographic Field Guide to Australian Frogs' showing the title on an orange background, with a large photo of Lytoria tyleri above and a strip of three frog photos beneath. Cover of 'The Australian Bird Guide' featuring a brolga flying over the white title with a red-capped robin in the foreground perched on a branch. The cover is blue with a red 'Revised Edition' ribbon on the top left corner. Cover of 'Plants of Subtropical Eastern Australia', featuring photos of a flame tree above the title and author name, and three plant images across the bottom of the cover.