January 24, 2011

Impress Your Friends with Random Trivia!

The applications for random knowledge are practically limitless: you can use trivia facts to impress a new date, start a conversation with your dentist, or win a natural history-themed trivia night at your local pub. To help you become a know-it-all, the Burke Blog brings you a new monthly feature:

Here we go:

• There are 148 species of mammals that live in Washington State (click here to see a list of all of them). That’s only 2.7% of the 5,416 recorded mammal species living on the planet.

• The Earth is 4.6 billion years old. According to the fossil record, the first life on Earth appeared 3.8 billion years ago in the form of single-cell organisms.

There is technically no such thing as a Brontosaurus. The word “Brontosaurus” is an obsolete synonym for Apatosaurus, a large sauropod dinosaur. Don’t believe us? Read more.

• Footprints, burrows, and fossilized excrement are all examples of trace fossils. The study of trace fossils is called ichnology!

• The Arctic Tern has the longest migration of any bird on the planet. Each year, it travels an average of 44,000 miles, flying in an S-shaped pattern from the North Pole to the South Pole and back.

So now you know. And now you can impress people you meet by telling them something cool that they didn’t know about the natural world. Just try not to be obnoxious about it:

Do you know something cool about natural history? Submit your trivia to us and we'll consider using it for the next installment of Impress Your Friends with Random Trivia!

Posted by: Julia Swan