Can You Spell These Animal Species Correctly?

Kennita Leon

Image: Fernando Trabanco Fotografía/Moment/gettyimages

About This Quiz

The species of any living thing is one of the most basic (and easiest) ways that it can be classified or placed within a group. If animals and plants did not interbreed or even evolve, it would be very easy to know them like the backs of our hands. But change is inevitable in nature and thus, we now have thousands, if not, millions of species in existence, some of which are microspecies. The way in which these are identified is by the two-part scientific name that each living thing is given, known as a binomial, and that's exactly what we want to quiz you on today. Could you spell the scientific names (or species) of these animals if we showed you what they were? 

So as we said, we'll give you a list of binomials and it'll be up to you to guess which one of them is the correct spelling for the appropriate animal. If you can get even half of these correct, we'll be extremely impressed by your skill. 

If you're  a huge animal or science lover, it's time to prove how much you know about spelling the names of these animal species. 

Which of these options is the correct way to spell a grizzly bear's species?

The grizzly bear is a large population of the brown bear of North America, most of which reside in Alaska. Scientists usually refer to them as North American brown bear, or by their scientific name, Ursus arctos.

A wolf is part of the canine family. How is its species spelled?

Wolves, also known as gray wolves or timber wolves, are the largest existing member of the canine family. Native to Eurasia and North America, these canines are identified by their large size, pointed ears and muzzles and predominantly mottled gray coat.

A jaguar is part of the panthera genus. How is its name spelled?

The jaguar, native to North America, is a species of wild cat and the only extant member of the genus Panthera. It is listed as a near-threatened species on IUCN Red List due to its declining numbers as a result of loss and fragmentation of its habitat.

Zebra's are also known as Burchell's zebra. Which of the options is the correct way of writing its name?

The Equus burchellii is a species of zebra known by many names including Equus quagga, the plains zebra, the common zebra, Burchell's zebra and quagga. It is a widespread species ranging from south of Ethiopia, Botswana, East Africa and eastern South Africa.

One of the five species of panthera, which option is the leopard?

The leopard is a member of the Felidae family and one of the five species of the genus Panthera. Found in Africa and Asia, the leopard is recognized by its long body, short legs, large skull and pale yellow and golden coat with black rosettes.

How would you spell the species of the African bush elephant?

The African bush elephant, also called the African savanna elephant, is the largest living terrestrial animal and the larger of the two species of African elephants. It is classified as a vulnerable species due to the destruction of its habitat and poaching for ivory.

The spelling of a giraffe's species is its name, with one added element. Which of the following is it?

The giraffe Camelopardalis is a species of giraffe native to North Africa with three known subspecies. It is commonly referred to as the northern giraffe and the three-horned giraffe and is found in the woodlands, savannahs and shrublands.

Which of the options below seems like the correct way to spell an ostrich's name?

The Struthio camelus, known as the common ostrich or simply ostrich, is a species of African flightless birds. It is the largest living species of birds and the fastest flightless bird with a top speed of 43 mph.

Which option seems like the way one would spell the American black bear's species?

This medium-sized bear is native to the North American continent. It is the most common type of bear in this region of the world, and also the smallest.

The dolphin is part of the delphinus genus. How is its name spelled?

The Delphinus delphis, also known as the short-beaked common dolphin, is a medium-sized species of common dolphin. It is more widespread than the long-beaked common dolphin and is found in tropical and warm temperate oceans.

The hippo's species is its entire name plus another name. Which is it?

The hippopotamus amphibius, or common hippopotamus, is the third largest land mammal after the elephant and rhinoceros. It is a semiaquatic, primarily herbivorous mammal indigenous to sub-Sahara Africa.

The coyote is a known member of the canine family. What do you think is the correct spelling of its name?

The coyote, native to North America, is a species of canine with 19 recognized subspecies. Known as the American jackal, it is a close relative of the gray wolf, along with the eastern wolf and red wolf.

The word fox is synonymous with the genus vulpes. Which option is how an arctic fox's species is spelled?

The arctic fox is a small-sized fox known by many names including white fox, snow fox and polar fox. It is indigenous to the Arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere and is identified by its thick, warm coat which also acts as camouflage.

Although the cheetah is a part of the Felidae family, it isn't of the genus leopardus, but rather, acinonyx. How does one spell its species?

The cheetah is a vulnerable species of large cat found in North, Southern and East Africa and a few regions in Iran. It is the fastest land animal and is easily identified by its yellowish tan or rufous to grayish white coat, with nearly 2,000 solid black spots.

This bovine is of the ovibos genus. Can you choose the correct spelling of its name?

The musk ox is an arctic hooded mammal which derived its name from the strong, musky odor emitted by males during the seasonal rut. It is a member of the Bovine family and Caprinae subfamily and a close relative of goats and sheep rather than oxen.

The Amazonian manatee is part of the Trichechidae family. Which option is how its species should be spelled?

The Amazonian manatee, also called sea cow, is the smallest species of manatee native to the Amazon basin in Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Peru and Ecuador. It has thin, wrinkled skin, a white patch on its chest, and fine hairs scattered over its body.

The wild turkey falls under the meleagris genus. Can you tell us how its species should be spelled?

The wild turkey, native to North America, is an upland ground bird and the heaviest member of the order Galliformes. Their habitats include hardwood forests with scattered openings such as fields, pastures, seasonal marshes and orchards.

The Bengal tiger has three names in its species, unlike the usual two. Which of the options is how it should be spelled?

The Bengal tiger is an endangered population of mainland Asian tigers in the Indian subcontinent. It is the largest wild cat alive today and the national animal of India and Bangladesh.

This brightly colored macaw is of the genus ara. What is the correct way of spelling its species?

The blue and yellow macaw is a New World parrot known for its long tail and colorful feathers of blue and yellow, hence its name. This brightly colored parrot can be found the forests, woodlands and savannahs of South America.

The cougar or mountain lion is also known as the puma- a name which of part of its species. Which option reflects that?

The puma, native to the Americas, is a large wild cat of the subfamily Felinae. It is known by many names including cougar, panther, mountain cat and catamount. It is the largest North American cat and the second-heaviest cat in the New World.

The moose's name is simple in that it is the same name written twice. Which of the options is it?

The moose, or elk in Eurasia, is the largest and heaviest extant species within the deer family. It differs from other deer species due to its large size and broad, open-hand shaped antlers sported by the males.

Not a glamorous animal, like its scientific name may suggest, how does one spell a llama's species?

Llamas are domesticated camelids indigenous to South America where they are used as meat and pack animals. They are intelligent, social animals and are capable of learning simple tasks after a few repetitions.

Of the genus rangifer, which of the following is how a reindeer's name should be written?

Reindeer, known as caribou in North America, are a species of deer indigenous to the Arctic, sub-Arctic, mountainous, boreal and tundra regions of North America, Europe and Siberia. It is a member of the Cervidae family and the Capreolinae subfamily.

A blue whale is part of the Balaenopteridae family. How do you spell its species?

The blue whale is a marine mammal and the largest animal known to have ever existed. It has a bluish-gray, long and slender body with a maximum recorded length of 98 feet and a weight of 173 tons.

The mallard is a waterfowl from the Anatidae family. Which of the options is the correct spelling of its name?

The mallard is a dabbling duck of the waterfowl Anatidae family and the Anatinae subfamily. The female of the species sports a brown-speckled plumage while the male has a glossy green head, gray wings and belly with brown the rest of the body.

Which of these names belongs to the green turtle, a member of the Chelonia genus?

The green turtle is a large sea turtle of the Cheloniidae family and the only species of the Chelonia genus. It is known by other names including the Pacific green turtle, black sea turtle and green sea turtle.

The ocelot is part of the Felidae family, with the genus, leopardus. How is its name spelled?

The ocelot is a species of wild cat widely distributed throughout Central and South America, Mexico and southern Texas and southern Arizona in the United States. It is a least concerned species with an estimated 40,000 mature individuals.

The harbor seal belongs to the genus Phoca, but how do you spell its species?

The harbor seal, or common seal, is a species of true seal found in the coastal waters of northern Pacific and Atlantic oceans and the North and Baltic seas. It is a least concerned species and is identified by its brown, gray, tan or silvery-white skin.

The white stork is another animal whose species is two of the same word. Which of the options is it?

The white stork is a large, carnivorous bird of the stork family Ciconiidae with two known subspecies. It is distinguished by its predominantly white plumage with black on its wings, long, pointed red beans and long, red legs.

The species given to the bald eagle is a particularly long one. Can you tell us which one it is?

The bald eagle is a sea eagle and a bird of prey with two known subspecies. It is indigenous to North America ranging across Canada, Alaska the contiguous United States and the northern region of New Mexico.

The pheasant, as you may have guessed is part of the phasianus genus. Can you complete the rest of its name?

The common pheasant is a bird of the pheasant family and a well-known gamebird. It is listed as a least-concerned species and is found in Europe and North America outside its native habitat in Asia.

The Brazilian salmon pink bird-eating tarantula's species name shows that it's part of the lasiodora species. Can you tell us how it should be spelled?

The Brazilian salmon pink bird-eating tarantula is the third largest species of tarantula in the world. This species of tarantula, native to northeastern Brazil, is a popular choice of pet due to its large size and readiness to breed.

The genus Ailuropoda is where the giant panda belongs. But what is its species name?

The giant panda, known as panda bear or panda, is a species of bear indigenous to South Central China. It is known for its distinct appearance which consists of black patches around its eyes, over the ears and across its body.

The polar bear, like most other bears, belongs to the genus ursus. Do you know how its species is spelled?

The polar bear, also known as the white bear, is a large, hypercarnivorous bear which inhabits the Arctic Circle. It is identified by its thick, solid white coat which protects it from the cold on land and in the sea.

The snowy owl belongs to the class aves and the genus bubo. What do you think is the correct spelling of its name?

The snowy owl is a large, white owl of the true owl family Strigidae and a native to the Arctic regions of Eurasia and North America. They are a nocturnal, carnivorous species which primarily hunts rodents and waterfowl at night.

The genus Bos is where the wild yak belongs. But do you know how to spell the rest of its species name?

The wild yak is a large, wild bovid and the ancestor of the domestic yak. It is native to the Himalayas and is characterized by a robust frame, sturdy legs, rounded cloven hooves and shaggy fur with a dense woolly undercoat over the chest, flanks and thighs.

Of the genus procyon, can you spell the rest of the raccoon's species name?

The raccoon, native to North America, is a medium-sized mammal and the largest species of the procyonid family. It is known by many names including the common raccoon, North American raccoon, northern raccoon or coon.

Of the orcinus genus, do you know how to spell the species of the orca?

The killer whale, or orca, is a toothed whale and the largest member of the oceanic dolphin family. It is an apex predator and feeds primarily on fish and other marine mammals such as dolphins and seals.

The common chimp is of the genus Pan and not the same as us humans, as many believe. Can you spell its species name?

The chimpanzee is a species of great ape known as the common chimpanzee, robust chimpanzee or simply "chimp." It is easily recognized by its coarse black hair and bare face, hands, feet, fingers, toes, palms and soles of the feet.

The American badger is one member of the Mustelidae family, under the genus taxidea. How is its scientific name spelled?

The American badger is a short-legged omnivore native to North America specifically western and central United States, south-central Canada, and northern Mexico. It is a member of the Mustelidae family and is found in open grasslands and prairie regions.

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