Essential Species Quiz

Here is a short multiple-choice quiz to test your knowledge of our fellow animals. 

Instructions: Choose the species that best fit the descriptions below. 

Note: Although some may share a few of the characteristics, they must meet all the criteria listed in order to qualify as a correct answer. 

1. Which two species fit the following description? 

  • Highly social
  • Live in established communities
  • Master planners and builders of complex, interconnected dwellings
  • Have a language
  • Can readily learn and invent words
  • Greet one another by kissing 

A. Humans

B. Prairie Dogs

C. Dolphins

D. Penguins 

Answer:  A. and B

2. Which two species fit the following description? 

  • Practice communal care of the youngsters on their block
  • Beneficial to others who share their turf
  • Essential to the health of their environment
  • Without them an ecosystem unravels
  • Have been reduced to a tiny portion of their original population
  • Vegetarian 

A. Humans

B. Prairie Dogs

C. Bison

D. Hyenas 

Answer:  B. and C. 

3. Which two species fit the following description?

  • Out of control pest
  • Multiplying at a phenomenal pace
  • Physically crowding all other life forms off the face of the earth
  • Characterized by a swellheaded sense of superiority
  • Convinced they are of far greater significance than any other being
  • Nonessential in nature’s scheme 

A. Humans

B. Prairie Dogs

C. Cockroaches

D. Sewer Rats 

Answer:  Sorry, trick question; the only species fitting the criteria is A. 

If this seems a harsh assessment of the human race or a tad bit misanthropic, remember, we’re talking about the species that single-handedly and with malice aforethought blasted, burned and poisoned the passenger pigeon (at one time the most numerous bird on the entire planet) to extinction and has nearly wiped out the blue whale (by far the largest animal the world has ever known). Add to those crowning achievements the near-total riddance of the world’s prairie dogs, thereby putting the squeeze on practically all their grassland comrades, and you can start to see where this sort of disrelish might be coming from. 

When the dust settles on man’s reign of terror, he will be best remembered as an egomaniacal mutant carnivorous ape who squandered nature’s gifts and goose-stepped on towards mass extinction, in spite of warnings from historians and scientists and pleas from the caring few…


The preceding was an excert from the book, Exposing the Big Game.

Text and Photography Copyright Jim Robertson

18 thoughts on “Essential Species Quiz

  1. Misanthropic rants are music to my ears. That last paragraph is golden…I may steal it but will give you credit 🙂 …And I absolutely LOVE prairie dogs….loving, adorable little soil aerators and fertilizer distributors and essential to nature. So far opposite of subhumans.

    • I like that: “Subhumans” I’m going to quote you on that! It’ sounds like you’d really like the prairie dog chapter in my book. I include a lot about how they are essential (and how humans are not;)

      • Hey, I wrote a children’s story in the mid-90s about prairie dogs, so studied them in great detail and fell in love with them. I may post it online someday. Goddamn the cattle industry for idiotically striving to wipe out those beautiful animals.

      • Great, I’d like to see it when you post it. And you’re right about the idiots trying to wipe them out. States like Wyoming “manage” (read: no limit and no closed season) them for “recreational shooting opportunities”!

  2. TERRIFIC POST. Now i REALLY want to get your book and review it on my blog =) I have another review obligation deadline approaching, but after that I’m gonna tackle yours! I love the misanthropy. I got vasectomized at 25 (two years ago) and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. I actually have a great vasectomy poem I wrote in prison posted on my blog, and here’s a little something else to whet the appetite:

    Get a Vasectomy–One Little Prick Now is Better Than Having a Bunch of Little Pricks Later!

    Thanks again for checking out my Pictorial Highlight on the Anza-Borrego Desert in California!! I’m not sure if you saw Part 2, but I saved some of the best pictures for last:

    My camera isn’t high quality because I haven’t had the income yet to spend an appropriate amount, but I think I still managed to get some beautiful shots of that magical place. =)

    –Love and Liberation–

    Jan @ TheRewildWest

  3. Some definitely take it way too far. There needs to be a balance, and strict consequences for those who upset that balance. That includes not only unethical hunters, but businesses, construction, etc. destroying forests and other habitats in which animals live. It is sad to me to see all the animals that are endangered or extinct.

  4. Pingback: Essential species quiz | Nevadans for Responsible Wildlife Management

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