I try hard to make my classes interesting. Part of that is finding new and hopefully innovative ways to get students thinking about systematics, taxonomy and conservation. To that end we are having a scavenger hunt at the American Museum of Natural History which will serve as a quiz for my Ichthyology quiz.

As all the students have smart phones they’re going to be tweeting me the answers using the hashtag #w4112. In case any of you want to follow along in the twitter-sphere I now present the quiz:


Hall of Vertebrate Origin

1) What is one of the synapomorphies of gars?

2) The Actinopterygians are united by what feature?

3) The Sarcopterygians have a very characteristic orientation of limb bones, what is it?

4) The lungfish have a characteristic pattern of dentition that allows for easy identification in fossils, what is it?

5) What method of reproduction to coelacanths have?

6) Chondrichthyes contains sharks, skates, rays and this group

7) This animal was the apex predator of the Devonian

Hall of Biodiversity

8) There are four elasmobranchs hanging outside the Hall of Ocean Life, what is the sex ratio and how can you tell which one(s) are male?

9) These elasmobranch egg cases are sometimes called mermaid’s cases

Hall of Ocean Life

10) This group of elasmobranchs is characterized by a broad rostrum with alternating teeth

11) This extremely derived Sarcopterygian features feathers but retains the ancestral ability to swim

12) This species of chondrostean used to be so common it was used for fuel for steam ships

13) This species of elasmobranch was nearly driven to extinction due to bycatch despite never being directly targeted.

14) The largest fish is?

15) This shark uses its long tail to stun fish

16) The pristine reefs of this Caribbean island are now only recorded in the collections of AMNH