Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday's Quiz: Dung Beetles

Because it is Thanksgiving week, our quiz is centered on one of the bugs for which we might be most thankful: the dung beetle. Perhaps you had not thought to give thanks for these lowly creatures. In a Newsweek article published earlier this year, it is noted that dung beetles, although nowhere near as photogenic as Polar Bears, deserve a place in our hearts. Without them, life would be much smellier. See how you do on this quiz, then find answers in tomorrow's blog.

1. Dung beetles, known to ancient Egyptians as "scarabs," were deified in that culture because:
a. Gold-plated, they became a jewelry item for pharaohs.
b. The shape of the dung beetle was found in astrological formations.
c. Dung beetles were an important part of the Egyptian diet.
d. The way dung beetles roll dung balls reminded Egyptians of the movements of the sun.

2. Dung beetles are found on every continent except
a. Africa
b. Antarctica
c. Australia
d. Asia

3. Female dung beetles lay eggs in
a. dung
b. loose soil
c. seed pods
d. nesting mounds

4. Dung beetles are important to agriculture because
a. They aerate and fertilize the soil.
b. They recycle animal droppings.
c. They keep other insects from overpopulating.
d. all of the above

5. Dried dung beetles (qianglang) are used by Chinese herbalists for
a. curing diseases
b. making poultices
c. an invigorating tea
d. an aphrodisiac

6. Dung beetles have been literary characters in which of the following authors' works?
a. Aesop and Aristophanes
b. Kafka and Poe
c. Wodehouse and Faulkener
d. all of the above

7. Dung beetle larvae feed on
a. dung
b. other dung beetles
c. soft plant matter
d. a special food created and stored by male dung beetles

8. Dung beetles have the ability to roll balls of dung weighing
a. 10 times their weight
b. 20 times their weight
c. 50 times their weight
d. 100 times their weight

Answers appear in tomorrow's blog, along with a link to a dung beetle video.

No comments: