Trivia #089 – 200 Years Old

Large tortoises are among the longest-lived animals on the planet. Some individual Aldabra giant tortoises are thought to be over 200 years of age, but this is difficult to verify because;

  1. they are difficult to find, living in inhospitable/extreme habitats
  2. they tend to outlive their human observers
  3. they adapt to remove their tracking devices from each other
  4. they hibernate for long periods of time, their heart rate dropping below the monitor’s reading


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Trivia #087 – Why Maasai Mara?

The Masai Mara got its name from the local people who called the land “Mara” which means “spotted” in Maa in the Masai language. Which of the following is NOT a reason why?

  1. The grassland is dotted with hundreds of thorn trees, widely spaced, their crowns far from touching. They look like acacias, but the so-called ‘Desert Date’ known by their botanical name Balanites aegyptiaca.
  2. Named after the cheetah, a pre-dominant predator in the area.
  3. The Masai Mara is also dispersed or “spotted” with animals, especially during the Great Migration when an unbelievable numbers of wildebeest and zebras trek across wide expanses of grassland, and bound across wide rivers to travel great distances in search of food. 
  4. The Masai Mara is also “spotted” with cloud shadows over the Savannah and the plains.

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Trivia #085 – The Legend Of Abijan

According to oral tradition of the Tchaman as reported in the Encyclopedic Dictionary of Côte d’Ivoire, the name “Abidjan” results from a misunderstanding. Legend states that an old man carrying branches to repair the roof of his house met a European explorer who asked him the name of the nearest village. The old man did not speak the language of the explorer, and thought that he was being asked to justify his presence in that place. Terrified by this unexpected meeting, he fled shouting “min-chan m’bidjan”. What did it translate to in the Ébrié language?

  1. “I must tell the Chief!”
  2.  “I must leave Atchan.”
  3.  “I have seen a ghost!”
  4. “I just cut leaves.”


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Trivia #083 – DRC Congo By Rail

In Kamina, an important railway node in the southern Democratic Republic of Congo, every day hundreds of people get on a train named after a bird. Stopping at virtually every station from Lubumbashi to Ilebo, the train attracts many street vendors who turn the stops – often due to technical problems – into buzzing markets.

What is bird is it named after?

  1. the “zebra finch”
  2. the “crane”
  3. the “macaw” or more popular “African mockingjay”
  4. the “swallow”

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