Can you guess all these misleading animal names?
by Maria Trimarchi
Lots of things around us have misleading names. Peanuts, for instance, aren't nuts. And strawberries aren't actually berries. Even The Hundred Years' War lasted for 116 years. And when it comes to how we name animals, we don't always do the best job. See how many of these animal misnomers you can decipher.

What color is a white rhinoceros?

  • white
  • light grey
  • brown

While it's true they do prefer to live on prairies, are prairie dogs real dogs?

  • yes
  • no, they're actually ground squirrels
  • no, they're actually chinchillas

The name starfish is a little misleading. Are they fish?

  • yes
  • no, they're Tunicata, like sea squirts
  • no, they're echinoderms, like sand dollars

Bearcat: Bear or cat?

  • bear
  • cat
  • neither

What kind of animal are koala?

  • bear
  • marsupial
  • shrew opossum

The slow worm isn't a worm, but rather a limbless what?

  • lizard
  • snake
  • turtle

Are flying foxes real?

  • yes, certain fox can fly
  • yes, but they're actually bats
  • no, there's no such thing

Which of these is a sea cucumber related to?

  • starfish
  • summer squash
  • watermelon

If electric eels aren't eels, what are they?

  • eel
  • knifefish
  • stargazer

The thylacine, also known as the Tasmanian wolf or the Tasmanian tiger, was the largest carnivorous what, until it went extinct during the 20th century?

  • marsupial
  • tiger
  • wolf

If the killer whale isn't a whale, nor a fish as its "blackfish" nickname would suggest, what kind of animal is it?

  • dolphin
  • hippopotamus
  • manatee

What type of wildfowl is the African pygmy goose?

  • goose
  • perching duck
  • screamer

What kind of insect is a firefly?

  • beetle
  • fly
  • wasp

Which cephalopod doesn't want to suck your blood, nor is it really a squid?

  • Dracula ants
  • vampire frog
  • vampire squid

The "horny toad" or "horned toad" isn't actually what?

  • cold-blooded
  • a reptile
  • a toad

Mudpuppies aren't puppies. In fact, they're not even mammals.What type of species is this underwater dweller?

  • fish
  • salamander
  • newt

Males and females are both covered in velvety down hairs, but "velvet ants" are actually what type of insect?

  • ants
  • bees
  • wasps

This crustacean throws what some scientists call the strongest punch in the animal kingdom, at speeds of up to 51 mph. But behind its war hammer, the mantis shrimp is keeping what secret?

  • it's a mantis, not a shrimp
  • it's a shrimp, not a mantis
  • it's a stomatopod

Dragonfly: dragon or fly?

  • carnivorous dragon
  • carnivorous insect
  • carnivorous damselfly

Jellyfish aren't, under the rules of biology, actually fish. What are they?

  • anthozoa
  • medusozoa
  • myxozoa

Which cobra is an imposter?

  • banded water cobra
  • false water cobra
  • forest cobra

Where does the Guinea pig come from?

  • the Andes
  • Guinea
  • Kenya

Are glowworms more closely related to worms or to fireflies?

  • fireflies
  • worms
  • both

Which are fisher cats most closely related to?

  • marten
  • nutria
  • wolverine

Why is the giant ditch frog called the "mountain chicken"?

  • it has a beak
  • it has a wattle
  • it tastes like chicken

Which of these terrible swimmers is a fish?

  • seahorse
  • sea krait
  • sea slug

The closest to being a "wolf" is in name only for which of these wolves?

  • the red wolf
  • the maned wolf
  • the capitoline wolf

They're not true lemurs, nor can they fly. What, then, is a flying lemur?

  • bats
  • colugo
  • shrew

The king cobra isn't actually a member of the Naja genus, as all true cobras are. It has its own genus, called what?

  • Boa
  • Ophiophagus
  • Viperidae

These nimble animals are known for their amazing sure-footedness and climbing abilities. But are mountain goats really goats?

  • nope, they're deer
  • nope, they're goat-antelopes
  • yep!

Which part of the honey badger name got it wrong?

  • they don't eat honey
  • they're not badgers
  • both are correct, actually

What type of saltwater mollusk is the naval shipworm?

  • clam
  • scallop
  • whelk

What is the Bombay duck, if not a duck?

  • a loon
  • a lizardfish
  • a cat

What is the common nighthawk if not a hawk?

  • nightjar
  • owl
  • thrush

What's misleading about the giant elephant shrew's name?

  • they're small and not related to elephants
  • they're small and not related to shrews
  • only that they're not giant