Things that Swim – 9-7-13

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Things that Swim – 9-7-13

1. The Mae West became a slang name for one of these, because the person wearing one seemed to be as well-endowed as the famous actress. What is a more standard name for a Mae West?

Life jacket, life vest, life preserver, etc.

2, Five-time Olympic gold medal swimmer Johnny Weissmuller was later famous for playing what notorious jungle man in Hollywood movies?


3. All cephalopods, or inkfish, can swim by jet propulsion, head first, trailing their long arms (often eight of them) behind. Name one type of such a creature.

Octopus, squid, cuttlefish, nautilus

4. These black-and-white birds, often found near the poles, can’t fly anymore, but they can swim for up to a hundred miles and reach speeds in excess of 20 mph. (hint: Pittsburgh’s hockey team is named after them.)


5. In 1926, Gertrude Edele swam fourteen and a half hours to become the first woman to swim across this famous band of water.

English Channel

6. The 1968 movie, The Swimmer, is based on a famous John Cheever short story about a man who swims across an entire valley, one private swimming pool at a time. The film stars an actor who was famous for such films as From Here To Eternity, Elmer Gantry, Run Silent Run Deep, and The Bird Man of Alcatraz. Name the actor.

Burt Lancaster

7. The Old Man and the Sea is a novel depicting the battle between the old fisherman Santiago and a large marlin. It takes place in Caribbean, not far from where the book’s author spent a large part of his life. What famous American novelist wrote the book?

Ernest Hemingway

8. In place of rigid bone, sharks’ skeletons are composed of this soft connective tissue found in the human ear and nose.


9. Olympic gold-medalist Michael Phelps swims the 200-meter freestyle in about 1 minute and 42 seconds. This fish, with its incredibly long bill and a dorsal fin that it can raise like a large piece of canvass running up a mast, can swim 200 meters in less than 10 seconds. Name the fish.


10. In what book of the Bible does good tell the first humans, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea.”


11. What is the very largest swimmer that ever swam on Planet Earth?

Blue Whale (100 feet long, up to 150 tons)

12. This 1960s television show, once called an “aquatic Lassie,” starred not a porpoise but a bottle-nosed dolphin. The name of the show was also the name of the dolphin, a word that is also part of the creature’s anatomy. Name the show.


13. International swimming competitions feature four strokes. Name two of them.

Backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, freestyle (crawl)

14. This huge white swimmer destroyed the life of the one-legged Captain Ahab.

Moby Dick

15. Sixty-four year old Diane Nyad just swam 110 miles in 53 hours to become the first person ever—man or woman—to swim from this island nation to the coast of Florida. Name the island.


16. Whether or not canines actually swim this way, kids love to, lying on their stomachs and trotting in the water. What is the name of this primitive swimming stroke?

The dog paddle

17. This class of animals typically start out their lives by swimming, but they grow up to crawl or hop on land. They aren’t reptiles. What are they?


18. “Cetacean” is the word for a group of swimmers who are neither fish, reptiles, nor amphibians. The group includes whales, porpoises, and dolphins. What do all cetaceans have in common?

They are marine mammals

19. You can strap on these inflatable rings to little children, helping them to swim like little angels.

Water wings

20. These strange, upright fish are the slowest swimming fish in the world, some of them swimming no faster than five feet an hour. They have long, prehensile tails and curved necks like a mane, and they belong to the genus Hippocampus. Name these small, underwater steeds.

Sea horses

21. The hawksbill, loggerhead, and leatherback are varieties of this group of animals, who manage to swim enormous distances despite having to carry around a heavy carapace.

Sea turtles

22. The Chinese government and new laws in California are all trying to stop excessive use of the fins of these swimmers in Asian-style soups. Name these finny, often endangered creatures.


23. The best-selling novel by Peter Benchley was made into a 1975 film that turned its director, Steven Spielberg, into a superstar. The story concerns the hunt for a giant killer shark. Name the film.


24. A set of equipment for a human swimmer might include flippers, a mask, and one of these tubes.


25. The webbed feet of these swimmers are considered a delicacy in Chinese cooking.


26. Fish tails and the tails of aquatic mammals move in different ways when the animals are swimming. In what way do the motions of fish and mammal tails differ?

Fish tails move side to side; mammal tales move up and down

27. These adorable mammal swimmers live in both rivers and the ocean. They are members of the weasel family, and are long, slim, and sleek, with more hairs per square inch of their fir than on an entire human head. They eat shellfish, and love to swim and float on their backs. Name these playful aquatic mammals.


28. This large opening on the top of a marine mammal’s head is the equivalent of a human nostril. It’s the opening that makes for a whale’s spout.


29. The Navy has a famed special Sea, Air, and Land team named after these swimming mammals.


30. “The Little Mermaid” is a well-known fairy tale about a young mermaid torn between her life in the sea and her love for a human prince. Name the Danish fairy-tale writer who first wrote the story down.

Hans Christian Andersen

31. A famous statue of the little mermaid sits on a rock in the harbor of what Danish city?


32. Some people believe that the legend of mermaids may have been inspired by these large, plant-eating marine mammals that live in tropical waters and are sometimes called sea cows. What are these large, slow, mammalian swimmers more commonly called?


33. The S.S. Minnow was the boat that took the Skipper, the Professor, Mary Ann, Ginger, and first-mate Gilligan on their three-hour tour that ended up playing for three years. Name the show.

Gilligan’s Island

34. He has 18 Olympic gold medals, twice as many as his nearest rival. He is the most decorated Olympian swimmer of all time. His first name is Michael. What is his last name?


35. Dawn Fraser is sometimes called the greatest woman swimmer of all time. She was the first woman to swim 100 meters in under a minute. She comes from a country of great swimmers in the Southern Hemisphere. Name her country.


36. Some of the world’s largest creatures feed on some of the smallest forms of life. The great whales are also sometimes called baleen whales. What is baleen?

Bristles and combs that filter the water for tiny food

37. Fisherman in two different countries have traditionally used cormorants to fish. They place a ring around the bird’s neck to prevent it from swallowing, then release the bird into the water to hunt for fish, which they then take out of the bird’s beak. Name either of the Eastern countries where this traditional bird-human fishing partnership takes place.

China or Japan

38. These relatives of the trout are typically born in fresh water, migrate to the ocean, then return upstream to fresh water to spawn once and die. Name these fish, whose name derives from the Latin word salire, “to leap.”


39. Every morning, this beloved children’s show host would feed his goldfish. Who was he? (hint: he would do this after he changed his street shoes into his sneakers and his jacket into his zip-up sweater)

Mr. (Fred) Rogers

40. This live-action animated children’s show ran for years on television in the early 1960s. It took place under the sea and featured such characters as Baron Barracuda, his henchman Trigger, Finley Haddock, Doc Sturgeon, Georgie Porgy, Gabby the Clam, and Miss Minerva, the hero’s love interest. The hero was a human wearing an old fashioned diving suit and helmet. The show bears the hero’s name. What was it?

Diver Dan.

41. In the 1964 film The Incredible Mr. Limpet, the title character is played by an actor perhaps more famous for his role as Barney Fife in Andy of Mayberry. Name this comic actor.

Don Knotts

42. In order to keep this fish, the common dolphinfish, from being confused with the very unappetizing mammal dolphin, restaurants and sea food departments now call it by another name. What name?

Mahi mahi (or dorado)

43. This American competitive swimmer who very nearly competed in the Olympics went to Hollywood instead, where she had a career making “aquamusicals” for MGM throughout the 1940s and ‘50s. She starred in the film Million Dollar Mermaid, which became her nickname. Who is she?

Esther Williams

44. This man won an extraordinary seven gold medals at the 1972 Olymics. His first name is Mark and his last name sounds like something you shouldn’t do in a swimming pool. Name him.

Mark Spitz

45. English Fish and Chips traditionally features this cold Atlantic fish, from whose liver is extracted an oil used as a nutritional supplement and to ease the pain of arthritis.


46. When something seems suspicious or not quite right, we sometimes say it smells…


47. This smooth, soft, worsted fabric whose diagonal weave gives it a two-tone look is used to make flashy dress clothing and also—oddly enough—the lining of diving suits.


48. The eggs of the sturgeon are used to make this great, salty delicacy.


49. This children’s card game is played by asking one’s neighbor if they have any of a particular card. If not, the asker is instructed do what?

Go Fish (hint: It’s the name of the game)

50. In the 1960s cartoon Beanie & Cecil, Beanie was a little boy. What animal was Cecil?

A (seasick) sea serpent

51. A cagey person may be described as being as slippery as what marine animal?

Slippery as an eel (hint: it’s a fish)

52. Who lives by the sea and frolicks in the autumn mist in a land called Honalee?

Puff the Magic Dragon

53. This former pitcher for the Oakland A’s who sported a massive mustache was nicknamed after this whiskered bottom-dwelling fish.

Catfish Hunter

54. Baby frogs are called what?

Tadpoles or pollywogs

55. This small swimming furred creature lives in the banks of rivers and creeks and secretes a peculiar odor that gives it its name.


This tree-felling swimmer is known as nature’s engineer

Beaver (Hint: Also the name of Ward and June Cleaver’s son)

56. This fish is born a typical, two-sided swimmer, but as it ages, one eye wanders to the other side and it flattens out, living the rest of its days as a flat fish lying on the sea bed. What is it? (hint: when someone is having a hard time or failing to get things done, we use this fish’s name to describe what’s happening.)


57. This ocean-dwelling mollusk has the same number of legs as an arachnid. It’s soft and oozy, but very smart.


58. The Italian dish calamari is made from this ocean-dwelling, ink-squirting, sometimes giant relative of the cuttlefish.


59. Many insects begin and spend most of their lives on the bottom of freshwater rivers before becoming airborne. When they are in this aquatic stage, they are known as what? (hint: also the name of minor female deities in Greek mythology)


60. This mammal sports enormous tusks. It’s clumsy on land but a powerful swimmer.


61. In this children’s game, players sit in a circle while the player in the middle goes around tapping people’s heads and saying the name of this aquatic bird until they pick a player to chase them by saying the name of another, larger aquatic bird. If the chaser catches them, they become the new player in the middle. What is the game?

Duck, duck, goose

62. This northern lake bird has a distinctive laughing call. Sometimes it is associated with a crazy person.


63. Another name for a SCUBA diver, because of his flippers


64. Water ballet is an Olympic sport known as what?

Synchronized swimming

65. If you watched the underwater show in Weekie Watchee, Florida, what might you see?

Women dressed as mermaids

66. A Pixar film featuring a lost orange and white clownfish

Finding Nemo

67. This poisonous snake plies rivers in the deep South

Water moccasin

68. This cold-water sport fish is the subject of Izaak Walton’s Compleat Angler. It can be brown, speckled, or multi-colored.


69. The most popular sport fish in the U.S.

Bass (hint: some have large mouths, some have small mouths)

70. The fins of these fish almost behave like wings.

Flying fish

71. These invasive fish came from China and threaten native fish in many freshwater rivers and lakes.

Asian carp

72. Charlie the Tuna was the cartoon spokesman for what brand of canned tuna?

Starkist (“Sorry, Charlie…”)

73. These aquarium fish fight by playing tug-of-war with their lips

Kissing gourami

74. In this classic movie based on a book of the same name by Rudyard Kipling, Spencer Tracy rescues Freddie Bartholemew and teaches him how to fish on a commercial cod boat. What is the name of the movie?

Captains Courageous

75. This Tchaikovsky ballet is named in part after the bird that the Ugly Duckling grew into.

Swan Lake

76. This breed of dog likes to swim and was the choice of the Obamas to be the White House’s puppy.

Portuguese water spaniel

77. What is a leviathan?

A sea monster mentioned in the Bible. Now any sea monster, or commonly in literature, a whale

78. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish was written by what beloved children’s author whose real name was Theodor Geisel

Dr. Seuss

79. These diamond-shaped planar fish act like air foils in the water

Ray (manta ray, stingray, skate)

80. What large, complex jellyfish is named after the largest kind of warship from the Age of Sail?

[Portuguese Man of War]

81. What is the name of the raw fish featured in Japanese restaurants?

Sushi or sashimi

82. This enormous, shy creature may or may not live in a deep lake in Scotland.

Loch Ness Monster

83. This needle-nosed, elongated, bony sport fish found in Northern lakes shares a name with a long-handled reaching pole and a famous American mountain.


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