Marginally bird-related trivia-quiz

To: <>
Subject: Marginally bird-related trivia-quiz
From: "Geoffrey Dabb" <>
Date: Mon, 8 Sep 2008 14:33:40 +1000

While this little quiz was not intended to invite responses, a high-scoring top-of-the-head return was received from Shaun Bagley, the observant former resident of Western Australia and of various States of the US, although not, so far as I know, Alaska.


Of Western Australia and Alaska –


(a)     Which State is the larger in area and by how much?  Given areas vary somewhat but WA is about 2,525,500 sq km and Alaska is about 1,530,693 sq km.  WA is about 1.65 times the size of Alaska.


(b)    Which State has the larger population and by how much?  This depends on date and source but WA has about 1.7m persons and Alaska 670,053.  The population of WA is more than 2.5 times that of Alaska.


(c)     Which State has the older governor and by how much?  Dr Ken Michael the (titular) governor of WA is 70;  Sarah Palin the (executive) governor of Alaska is 44.  Dr Michael’s age is 1.6 times that of Governor Palin.


(d)    Which State has the higher ‘highest’ mountain and by how much?  Mt Meharry (WA) is 1253m;  Mt McKinley (highest in US) is 6193m, 5 times the height of the WA hillock.


(e)    Which State has the heavier avifaunal emblem and by how much?  According to the Handbook of the Birds of the World the Black Swan (WA) ranges from 3700-8750gm, while the Willow Ptarmigan (or ‘Willow Grouse’) of Alaska is 525-700gm.  On the average weights, the WA avifaunal emblem is about 10 times the weight of the ptarmigan.  It would be wise not to go too deeply into mammalian emblems (not so well known as ‘State Birds’).  That of WA, the Numbat, averages about 500gm.  While, at the animal Olympics, a fighting Numbat might be allowed into the same ring as the Alaskan grouse, it would be a gross mismatch with Alaska’s emblematic Moose (males up to 720kg).  Moreover the Alaskan MARINE mammal is the Bowhead Whale, which, reaching more than 54,431kg, could be 110,000 times the weight of your average Numbat.








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