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Off the mark – a quick quiz

By , 1 July 2020

Scientists aim for accuracy, but it’s not always possible to be exactly right. This quiz is all about getting close, and not always close enough! So how close to full marks can you get?

#1. Which description of the extinct animal Diprotodon is the most accurate?

Diprotodon were the largest marsupials known to exist and went extinct around 44 000 years ago.

#2. What mistake caused the loss of the Mars Climate Orbiter mission?

The Mars Climate Orbiter had a problem with its software, which miscalculated the thrust of its engines. As a result, it came too close to Mars and was lost.

#3. How many legs does Burton’s legless lizard have?

Burton’s legless lizard has two rudimentary hind legs.

#4. At its nearest point, which planet gets closest to Earth?

When it’s closest, Venus is around 40 million kilometres from Earth. At closest approach, Mars is about 55 million kilometres away.

#5. What type of animal is a whale shark?

Whale sharks are the largest species of carpet shark.

Was I right?


Congratulations! You are a real science whiz!

Oh dear! Better brush up before the next quiz!


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