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This Month’s Quiz: Rethinking a Few Popular Animal Similes

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This month in the quiz, we’re reconsidering widely used similes. All your life you’ve heard people using phrases like “free as a bird,” “quiet as a mouse” or “hairy as a gorilla.” But are these similes accurate? Is the bird really the free-est animal? Are gorillas really the hairiest? We did some Internet research to find better, more colorful candidates for various popular phrases. Read, remember, and use!

1. “EATS LIKE A HORSE”

Horses. They’re picky, discriminate eaters compared to the following high-energy consumers. Pick the biggest eater by body-weight percentage.

A. American pygmy shrew 

B. Pandas 

C. Blue whales

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2. “SLOW AS A SNAIL”

Turtles and snails? Those guys are speed demons compared to one of the animals below. Or are they?

A. Manatee 

B. Three-toed sloth 

C. Starfish

3. “WISE AS AN OWL”

Owls certainly look wise, with their magisterial plumage and dignified carriage. But one of these three is a smarter animal.

A. Bottlenose dolphin 

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B. African gray parrot

C. Chimpanzee

4. “BLIND AS A BAT”

Bats have very poor visual acuity. But are they absolutely blind? No. However, one of these animals is.

A. European cave salamander 

B. Colossal squid 

C. Ogre-faced spider

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5. “STRONG AS AN OX”

Oxen certainly are powerful animals, able to carry more than 1,500 pounds. But the epitome of strength? That would have to be one of the following animals, at least in terms of strength proportionate to size.

A. Leafcutter ant
B. African bush elephant
C. Dung beetle

 

Answers … 1. A. American pygmy shrew. It eats three times its body weight per day. In fact, it can’t even sleep for more than a few minutes at a time, or else it would starve. |  2. B. Three-toed sloths won’t move farther than 100 feet in a day. They move so slowly that algae reportedly grows on their fur.  |  3. C. Sharing 98 percent of genetic DNA with humans, a chimpanzee can use a computer to solve a numerical equation. No anecdotes exist of any owls firing up Windows to do math problems.  |  4. A. The Gollum-like European cave salamander, or olm, can also live up to 100 years.  |  5. C. Dung beetle. Males can lift objects more than 1,000 times their own body weight.

 

 

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Pet Quiz

Take Our Quiz to Identify the Animal Stars of Some Christmas Cinema Classics

Beware of spoilers.

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01

In NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION, Clark Griswold’s “best Christmas ever” goes up against — among other disasters — his cousin Eddie’s Rottweiler. The dog drinks the water from the Christmas tree, which subsequently catches fire, and causes mayhem while chasing a squirrel. Only Cousin Eddie could have come up with such a name for a Rottie. What was it?

02

Ever notice when watching IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE that Uncle Billy’s pet raven is always there when George receives the worst news or is at his lowest point? What was the raven’s name?

03

True fans of THE SIMPSONS can look back to the animated series’ first episode in 1989 — a Christmas special — to learn the origin story of the family’s dog, Santa’s Little Helper. Doing so reveals what breed he is. Can you name the breed without digging out your VHS tapes? (Or … ahem … without looking at the photo above …)

04

While the neighbors’ dogs in A CHRISTMAS STORY went unnamed (OK, so the father had some choice names for them), their actions — specifically eating the Christmas turkey — resulted in the Parker family’s unforgettable goose dinner in a Chinese restaurant. Who were the neighbors who owned the dogs?

05

No one can forget Cindy Lou Who, just as no one can forget the Grinch’s trusty companion in HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS, but can anyone recall the pup’s name?

Answers: 1. Snot | 2. Jimmy. The animal actor who played him appeared in more than 1,000 feature films from the 1930s to the 1950s. | 3. Greyhound. Homer tries betting his earnings at the track to make money for Christmas presents. Instead of placing his bet on the sure money-winner, he takes Santa’s Little Helper’s name as a sign. SLH finishes dead last, is booted out in the cold by his owner, and Homer and Bart recognize him for the Simpson he turns out to be.| 4. The Bumpus family | 5. Max

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Pet Quiz

Identify These Royal Pets Throughout the Ages

See what you know about the pets of kings, queens, princes and princesses.

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UPON LEARNING of the passing of Queen Elizabeth’s last Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Willow, in April, it got us thinking about other royal pets. That is, pets OF ROYALTY, not pets that are treated like royalty, which, we’d venture to guess, is any pet within sight of a copy of PETS+. See what you know about the pets of kings, queens, princes and princesses.

01

Some of Queen Victoria’s favorite pets were captured in a painting: Dash, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Lory, a parrot, Nero, a Greyhound and Hector, a Deerhound. Who was the artist? (Hint, his name is synonymous with pet paintings.)

02

The man who gave the last mistress of Louis XV a parrot — which was famous for swearing and making ribald remarks — was presented with a knighthood for his gift. Who was the mistress?

03

Known as the royal dog of this country, this breed is one of the oldest living breeds with carvings appearing in Sumerian tombs as far back at 7,000 years ago. What’s the breed?

04

This breed of dog reportedly saved the life of William, Prince of Orange (Holland) from an assassination attempt in 1572. What’s the breed?

05

According to Wikileaks cables, the dog of the prince who would become king of this country held the rank of Air Chief Marshal. What’s the country?

Answers: 1. Sir Edwin Landseer; 2. Madame du Barry; 3. Saluki; 4. Thailand; 5. Pug;

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Pet Quiz

Brush Up On Your Presidential Pets in Our Quiz

Hail to the First Canines.

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AN ITEM on the current petless White House in last month’s Know It All section and it being the month of Presidents Day (Feb. 19) inspired us to come up with this quiz on presidents and their pets. While we all know Richard Nixon’s cocker spaniel Checkers from his speech, and we may recall Socks (Bill Clinton’s cat), Millie (George W. Bush’s springer spaniel who authored a book), and Bo and Sunny (Barack Obama’s Portuguese water dogs), we’ve bet you never knew about Mr. Reciprocity, Him or the very first Siamese cat in the U.S. (And if you’re wondering, Theodore Roosevelt had more pets than any other president.) Draw a line between the president and the type of pet, and for bonus points, to the name of that pet.

 

ANSWERS: …George Washington, greyhound, Cornwallis | Thomas Jefferson, mockingbird, Dick | Andrew Jackson, parrot, Polly | Abraham Lincoln, turkey, Jack | Rutherford B. Hayes, Siamese cat, Siam | Benjamin Harrison, opossum, Mr. Reciprocity | Theodore Roosevelt, rat, Jonathan | Calvin Coolidge, raccoon, Rebecca | John F. Kennedy, canary, Robin | Lyndon B. Johnson, beagle, Him. 

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