Photo: Thomson Safaris guest, LeeAnn Carvalho
We’ve all heard of herds of cattle, or packs of dogs, but some species get-togethers go by strange names. These little-known terms date back to the 15th century, when English gentlemen would study them in their “books of venery.” Knowing to call it a “gaggle” (not a “group”) of geese was one of the many (strange) markers of gentility at the time.
The terms may seem outdated, but several have so thoroughly embedded themselves in our language that we don’t even realize how strange they are; a “school” of fish isn’t really any more obvious than a “murder” of crows, if you think about it!
Would you prove yourself a gentleman? Take our African Animal Quiz and find out just how much you know about the language of animals:
1.) Which animal hangs out in a “bask” or a “float” (we’ll give you an almost-hint: it’s aquatic)?
a.) Sea turtles
2.) Flamingoes are known for their bright pink finery; what are groups of them known as?
a.) A “bling”
b.) A “flutter”
c.) A “flamboyance”
d.) A “sparkle”
3.) Buffalo seem to derive their group name from one of their most recognizable traits, namely:
4.) Hyenas also have an evocative group name. These predators travel in:
5.) Many animals have more than one possible group name, and some group names can apply to more than one species. If you mention a “clan,” you could be referring to either:
a.) Honey badgers or hyenas
b.) Wild dogs or cheetahs
c.) Servals or Thomson’s gazelles
d.) Baboons or elephants
6.) Many people know that lions hang out in “prides,” but their groups are also known as:
c.) Both of the above
d.) None of the above
7.) One animal on this list is just screaming for your attention. If you see a “sounder” in the Serengeti, you’re looking at a group of:
8.) Many animals have military-inspired group names, including:
b.) Frogs (all species)
d.) All of the above
Check below to see if you’re an animal expert…or if you need to go back to school (the one WITHOUT the fishes!)
ANSWERS: 1: B | 2: C | 3: A | 4: D | 5: A | 6: C | 7: B | 8: D (Giraffes = Corps; Frogs = Army; Elephants = Parade)