Amazon Nature Trivia
Can you name which Peruvian Amazon primate is the smallest monkey in the world? Any idea what foods originated from this rain forest or which river animal is steeped in South American legend? Take our quiz below to put your knowledge to the test, then share it with your family and friends to see who knows the most about the Amazon jungle. When you're finished, scroll down to reveal the correct answers and explanations.
One South American legend claims that if you go swimming alone in the Amazon River, this creature may whisk you away to a magical underwater city:
Correct Answer: Pink River Dolphin
Explanation: The pink river dolphin, with its unique coloring, has inspired much local lore. Another legend claims the dolphins are able to shape-shift into seductive humans. Pink river dolphins are threatened by damming, water pollution and poaching. World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and its local partner ProDelphinus are leading the first-ever effort to tag pink river dolphins in order to better understand these beautiful creatures. As human encroachment becomes more of a problem in this region, it is more critical than ever to fully understand the river's biodiversity and resources.
Photo Credit—Giant Amazon River Turtle: Cassiano (Zapa) Zaparoli
What is the national bird of Peru?
Correct Answer: Andean cock-of-the-rock
Explanation: Found in the cloud forests, the Andean cock-of-the-rock is the national bird of Peru. They are fruit eaters, and males are distinctive due to their bright orange feathers.
Fun Fact: According to Mayan legend, king vultures were messengers between humans and the gods.
Photo Credits—Paradise tanager: Francesco Veronesi from Italy [ ] via Wikimedia Commons; Andean cock-of-the-rock: Bill Bouton from San Luis Obispo, CA, USA [ CC BY-SA 2.0 ] via Wikimedia Commons; Hoatzin: Murray Foubister [ CC BY-SA 2.0 ] via Wikimedia Commons; King Vulture: Olaf Oliviero Riemer [ CC BY-SA 2.0 ] via Wikimedia Commons; Marvelous Spatuletail: 2il.org [ CC BY-SA 3.0 ] via Flickr CC BY 2.0
Which plant did not originate in the Amazon?
Correct Answer: Kiwi
Explanation: Fruits and vegetables such as acai, passion fruit, guava, avocado and chili pepper, spices such as cinnamon and delicacies such as chocolate all come from the Amazon. The kiwi originated in China—the first record of this fruit is from the Song dynasty in the 12th century.
Fun Fact: The kiwi is also known as the Chinese gooseberry.
Photo Credits—Acai: Camila Neves Rodrigues da Silva [ ] via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0
Which Peruvian Amazon primate is the smallest monkey in the world?
Correct Answer: Pygmy marmoset
Explanation: The pygmy marmoset in the Amazon is 5 to 6 inches long and weighs less than 5 ounces, making it the smallest monkey in the world. Golden-mantled tamarins, woolly monkeys and red howler monkeys can also all be found in the Amazon.
Fun Fact: The smallest primate is Madame Berthe's mouse lemur in Madagascar.
Photo Credits—Golden-mantled tamarin: lowjumpingfrog [ ] via Wikimedia Commons; Woolly monkey: Hans Hillewaert via Wikimedia Commons; Pygmy marmoset: JJ Huckin CC BY 2.0
How large can giant water lilies grow?
Correct Answer: 10 feet
Explanation: One of the most fascinating and beautiful plants you’ll encounter when cruising down the Amazon is the giant water lily ( Victoria amazonica). These lilies are found in shallow and slow-moving waters in the Amazon River basin. After scarab beetles pollinate the flowers, the lilies change from white to pink.
Fun Facts: Giant water lilies are the national flower of the country Guyana. The genus is named after Queen Victoria.
Photo Credit—Hugh M. Smith
Which country has the highest diversity of birds in the world?
Correct Answer: Colombia
Explanation: Peru ranks second after Colombia in diversity of birds (Brazil is third, and Indonesia is fourth). Peru has the third highest diversity of reptiles and fifth highest diversity of mammals.
Photo Credit—Mark Hickey
New World monkeys such as capuchins and squirrel monkeys are found in Central and South America, while Old World monkeys inhabit Asia and Africa. What is a difference between these two families?
Correct Answer: All of the above
Explanation: Unlike Old World monkeys, New World monkeys have broader nostrils and many such as howler and spider monkeys have developed long prehensile tails. In addition, female New World monkeys have the unique ability to bear twins.
Photo Credit—Cathy Drexler
What fraction of the world’s freshwater is in the Amazon Basin?
Correct Answer: 1/5
Explanation: An enormous amount of our freshwater is found in the Amazon Basin. In order to preserve these precious reserves, it is crucial to understand the river dynamics of this region.
Fun Fact: The Pacaya Samiria National Reserve in the Amazon has an average annual rainfall of 6.5 to 10 feet!
The Amazon is considered one of the Seven Wonders of Nature:
Correct Answer: True
Explanation: The other Seven Wonders of Nature are Halong Bay in Vietnam, Iguazu Falls in Argentina and Brazil, Jeju Island in South Korea, Komodo Island in Indonesia, Puerto Princesa Underground River in the Philippines and Table Mountain in South Africa.
Photo Credit—JJ Huckin
How much of the planet’s oxygen is produced by the Amazon rain forest?
Correct Answer: More than 20 percent
Explanation: As Nat Hab travelers explore the Amazon, they will be amazed at the biodiversity found in the jungle canopy and on the forest floor. These forests, abounding with life, are the lungs of our planet.
What is the most common caiman species in the Amazon?
Correct Answer: Spectacled caiman
Explanation: The most common caiman is the spectacled caiman, which draws its name from the bony ridge between its eyes. The yacare caiman is also called the piranha caiman due to its preference for the razor-toothed fish. The largest species is the black caiman, which can reach up to 5 meters in length, while the smallest is Cuvier’s dwarf caiman.
The Amazon River is the largest river by volume in the world:
Correct Answer: True
Explanation: While the Nile River is the longest, the Amazon is the largest river by volume, discharging 7,381,000 cubic feet per second. Due to its size, it is sometimes called “The River Sea.” The Amazon Basin is about 2,720,000 square miles, making it the largest river basin in the world.
Photo Credit—Megan Koelemay
WWF supported the creation of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve in the Amazon Basin, which is the largest reserve in Peru. How many indigenous communities live on the banks of the river in this protected area?
Correct Answer: 94
Explanation: Approximately 42,000 indigenous people live in this region. These populations fish, hunt, gather and grow foods such as rice, beans and peanuts for subsistence along the fertile riverbanks. WWF engages with these communities to managed protected areas. Ecotourism has provided a way for local people to earn a sustainable living by selling handicrafts and serving as tour guides.
Fun Fact: The Amazon Basin is home to more than 30 million indigenous people—350 ethnic groups rely on the forest for food, clothing and traditional medicines.
Photo Credit—Alan Kotok [ CC BY 2.0] via Flickr
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