Can You Name The Deadly Animal From Just One Sentence?

Torrance Grey

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

From the largest land mammal to a tiny insect with deadly disease potential, the animal kingdom is full of dangers! How well do you know your deadly beasts? Find out now with our quiz!

I'm known for my gorgeous mane -- on males, at least.

In lion prides, it is usually the females who hunt. But both males and females have been known to attack humans, if opportunity arises or other game is scarce.

I got my name by killing my mate after sex.

We're not sure about the evolutionary advantage of eating a mate -- does she need the calories to grow and lay her eggs? One thing we *do* know is that the black widow's bite is rarely fatal, unless you're a child or already in poor health.

I have no natural predators in my chilly environment.

In the arctic, nothing hunts the polar bear, except other polar bears. It isn't responsible for too many human fatalities, simply because there aren't many humans in its environment, except well-prepared explorers.

My fur has beautiful rosettes.

The leopard is incredibly strong -- just witness its tendency to drag dead antelope up trees to eat them. The name is a combination of Latin words for "lion" and "panther," because it was once thought to be a hybrid of these species.

My name makes it sound like I need a shave.

People tend to steer clear of the fearsome grizzly bear, found in North America. However, these bears don't seek out conflict with humans, mostly fighting because they don't climb trees well (unlike the nimble black bear).

I'm tiny but deadly, causing an astounding 2 to 3 million human deaths a year.

Malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever, Zika ... all these and more are spread by the tiny mosquito. Bioethical debates about controlling mosquito populations by gene manipulation or sterilization are ongoing.

There's a constellation and a Zodiac sign in my honor.

Scorpions are venomous, of course. The aptly-name deathstalker scorpion kills more humans than any other type.

Awww ... but I look so chubby and cute!

The hippopotamus seems like evolution gone crazy -- its closest relatives are ocean mammals like the whale. Its name means "river horse" and it resembles a wild boar or pig. It also looks much too heavy to be as dangerous as it is.

I'm an aquatic villain in a lot of B movies and adventure comics.

Piranha are famous for their use by Bond-villain-type characters in fiction, who are forever threatening to throw people into tanks of these hungry fish. In truth, although they are carnivorous, they rarely attack humans.

I am hunted for my ivory.

Elephants do charge and kill humans -- particularly males, when they are in a state of increased testosterone called "musth." But we kill far more of them than they do of us (as is true of many other species).

I have a bill like a duck.

The features of this eastern Australian animal are so diverse that early naturalists thought it might be a hoax. It's cute but aggressive, with the males having venomous "spurs" on their back legs.

My sting is usually not thought of as fatal.

Generally, a bee sting is a momentary pain. But for people who are allergic, it can be fatal without medical intervention. Then there's the "Africanized" honey bee, a hybrid that exhibits aggressive behavior, chasing some victims nearly a mile to sting en masse. Ow!

Don't be formal ... call me Tazz!

The Tasmanian devil is a fierce hunter and fighter. However, like several animals on this list, it's not known for attacking humans.

I gave my name to a muscle car.

The several species of cobra have different levels of venom. The king cobra has been reported to kill adult elephants with its powerful venom.

I often kill my prey by rolling it in the water.

This maneuver is known as a "death roll" -- the victim is rolled over and over until it drowns. (Is it just us or does that seem unnecessarily cruel?)

I look a bit like a hippo, except for my horn.

The rhinoceros is another animal that is far more threatened by humans than a threat to us. Sadly, persistent misconceptions that powdered rhinoceros horn has health benefits drives continued poaching.

I'm sometimes called the banana spider because of where I like to hang out.

The Brazilian wandering spider has a deadly venom which can cause, among other things, a painful erection in men. That has made its venom of interest to medical researchers developing new erectile-dysfunction drugs. (That's one clinical trial we wouldn't sign up for!)

I'm classified as one of the pit vipers.

Rattlesnakes are pit vipers, meaning they have heat-sensing pits on their faces. These don't just sense heat the way skin does -- the pits actually relay information to the brain that creates thermal images, similar to infrared ones, that snakes use in combination with the information they get from their eyes.

I nest in out of the way places, as my name indicates.

The brown recluse is also known as a violin spider, for a marking on its body. It isn't aggressive, but you should be careful when poking around attics and basements, because it will bite in self-defense.

I'm sometimes called the "American cobra."

The coral snake bites very rarely. In fact, US drug companies no longer find it makes financial sense to manufacture antivenin for this snake.

Unfortunately, in real life, there's no two-note musical theme when I'm around.

The great white doesn't kill as many people as is popularly believed. Humans are not its preferred prey, so we're usually attacked by mistake, not deliberate hunting.

I've got a cool name, which you might know from the Harry Potter books.

A boomslang is a snake with a deadly hemotoxic venom, meaning its venom causes hemorrhaging. Boomslang skin is an ingredient in some "Harry Potter" potions, as you'll know if you were paying attention in Professor Snape's class.

Hailing from Africa, I had a guest appearance in "Kill Bill, Vol. 2."

"Black Mamba" was the code name of Uma Thurman's assassin character in the Tarantino movies. A character is killed by an actual black mamba snake in the second film.

I'm a venomous reptile native to the U.S. Southwest and to Mexico.

We humans made our feelings clear about this big lizard when we gave it its name. Also not helping: Its scientific name is "heloderma suspectum."

I gave my name to a comic-book character.

Wolverines look a bit like a cross between a bear and a hyena. They're known for their ferocity, which is probably why one of the toughest "X-Men" characters was named after them.

I sound too lazy to hurt anyone!

The "sloth bear" is mostly found in South Asia. Related to the black bear, it can be very dangerous when provoked.

I'm the largest of all the lizards.

The Komodo dragon can grow up to 10 feet long and has been known to kill humans. One at the Los Angeles Zoo attacked San Francisco Chronicle editor Phil Bronstein in the 2000s, but he got off with only an injured foot.

Improbably, I'm a delicacy in Japanese cooking.

"Blowfish" and "pufferfish" are both names for an adorable-looking creature that can blow itself up to almost spherical proportions. Called "fugu" in Japanese, it's a delicacy that must be carefully prepared to eliminate all traces of its toxin.

I'm also called the cottonmouth.

The water moccasin is a good swimmer and has been known to swim to new offshore homes. The name "cottonmouth" comes from the white interior of its mouth, seen in its wide-jawed threat displays.

A bite from me can cause sleeping sickness.

Tsetse flies look a lot like common houseflies. They're more dangerous, though, transmitting sleeping sickness in parts of Africa.

I might ruin your Australian beach vacation.

The box jellyfish -- named for its squarish head -- is the more common offshore threat. What makes the irukandji -- found in deeper waters -- dangerous is their size. They're so tiny, they're hard to see and avoid, but pack a powerful toxic wallop.

I sound like a blue-plate special at a sushi restaurant.

The blue-ring octopus is normally a brownish color, but the lovely, almost irridescent rings appear when it's bothered. Also when bothered: Its neurotoxic bite. So don't bother it!

Known for my stripes, I kill more humans than other big cats do.

Tigers are endangered, but that doesn't stop them from being a danger to humans. Most tigers that hunt humans seem to be old, injured, or not proficient at hunting, like tigers raised in captivity.

I might be sleeping on your couch right now!

Man's best friend kills about 35,000 humans a year. Mostly, this is through the transmission of rabies in countries where the disease is not well-controlled.

In a short story, I was called "The Most Dangerous Game."

Humans are the most successful predators ever to walk the earth, hunting not only for food but for sport. This is not to mention the secondhand violence of damage we've done to animal habitats in pursuit of natural resources. Just remember that the next time you call a crocodile or a grizzly bear "vicious!"

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