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Michigan Winter Quiz

The mild winter of 2011/2012 may be a blessing for Michigan creatures who go to great lengths to survive the cold weather months. See how well you do on this quiz—compiled by MEC Intern Marco Salomone—about Michigan’s hibernators, migrators and others whose winter survival skills are unique.

1. Michigan is home to only a select few animals considered “true hibernators.” Which critter may only breathe 5 times per hour during its months-long slumber?
a. Woodchuck
b. Black Bear
c. Raccoon
d. The Man Eating Clam at Seashell City

2. While some species of bats fly south, millions of Michigan’s bats stay in the state and hibernate where?
a. In the trees of Michigan’s densest forests, huddling close to preserve heat
b. In the Pontiac Silverdome
c. In the many abandoned mines in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
d. In Michigan’s cities, fighting crime with our state bird, the robin

3. Millions of monarch butterflies leave Michigan for the Southwest and Mexico every winter and find their way by first heading to the coast of Lake Michigan, and then navigating the rest of the trip how?
a. Using the sun
b. Using natural landmarks along the way
c. Memorizing the previous year’s journey
d. Tom-Tom GPS

4. Michigan’s fish primarily survive in the freezing lakes by:
a. Developing a seasonal, second layer of scales to preserve body heat
b. Continuously moving around lake bottoms to keep their body temperatures up while water temperatures drop
c. Slowing their metabolism to use less oxygen and preserve energy while food is scarce
d. Constantly dodging the hooks of the thousands of Michigan residents looking for a delicious pan-fried dinner

5. Most of Michigan’s turtles find a cozy winter home by burrowing under lakes, ponds and streams. This species of turtle will come out for a swim for short periods and can be seen moving slowly under the icy surface (hint: it’s also Michigan’s state reptile). a. Box turtle b. Painted turtle c. Blanding’s turtle d. Teenage Mutant Ninja turtle

6. Small rodents such as the shrew need to find a safe place to breed during the winter months, and their most common breeding grounds are found where?
a. Inside natural or man-made caves
b. Under tightly packed snow
c. The trunks of larger, hollow trees
d. The crawl space under your house

7. This winter, Michigan has seen an unprecedented jump in the number of sightings of what creature usually found farther North?
a. Grey Wolf
b. Snowy Owl
c. Beaver
e. Snowshoe Hare

8. Many of Michigan’s predators brave the winter by expanding their territory in order to find more food. Deer are especially tasty. Over the past three years, which predator has preyed on the most adult deer and fawns? a. Wolves b. Coyotes c. Black Bears d. The Yeti

9. Michigan honeybees survive the cold Michigan winters by: a. Slowing their metabolism to less than 1 percent of their summertime intensity and producing a natural anti-freeze that keeps them alive b. Clustering in a tight ball and vibrating their bodies to keep a constant 90-plus degree temperature at the core of the cluster c. Burying themselves 8 to 12 inches deep in the soil and hibernating d. Flying to Florida where they play shuffleboard and brag about their grandkids until they return in April

10. Michigan’s human residents also need to keep warm during the winter, and nearly four-fifths of Michigan homes are heated using what non-renewable source?
a. Electricity from coal
b. Natural gas
c. Kerosene
d. Wood


Answers: 1-a, 2-c, 3-a, 4-c, 5-b, 6-b, 7-b, 8-b, 9-b, 10-b
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