110 Biology Trivia Questions (That Will Test Your Smarts)

Written by:
Eli Robinson
November 20, 2022

Biology trivia questions are a great way to test your understanding of the living world around you.

From plants to animals, biology covers a wide range of topics, and these trivia questions are sure to challenge your knowledge.

Straight off the bat, here is a warm-up question to get you started:

Question: What type of virus at a Chipotle near the Boston College campus sent over 80 students, including much of the men's basketball team, to the hospital in the fall of 2015?

Answer: Norovirus

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This comprehensive platform provides a variety of easy and difficult biology trivia questions, so you are sure to find something to challenge your knowledge.

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110 Biology Trivia Questions (That Will Test Your Smarts)

  1. What is the three-letter name of the second-tallest (standing) bird on the planet? This animal is found only in Australia and is related to the ostrich.  Answer: Emu
  2. What weird evolutionary thing is shared by certain species of all these creatures? Gnats, jellyfish, squids. In North America this weird evolutionary thing is most frequently seen in the Photinus pyralis species.  Answer: Bioluminescence
  3. Contrary to its consolatory name, what species of lethargic shark is responsible for the fourth most human bites on record?  Answer: Nurse Shark
  4. What creature with an equine name has no teeth or stomach, mates for life, and is the only species on Earth where the male carries the unborn offpsring?  Answer: Seahorse
  5. Richard Preston's bestselling novel "The Hot Zone" describes a near-epidemic outside Washington DC of what filovirus?  Answer: Ebola
  6. Sea-dwelling creatures in the genus Mobula frequently feature what Biblical, diabolical word in their name? They were once the name of an American baseball franchise as well.  Answer: Devil Rays
  7. What type of tree was widely planted in Australia as an erosion-control measure but is now regarded as an invasive weed across extensive ares of the country and is considered a 'Weed of National Significance'? Hint: the tree is often referred to by an alliterative nickname.  Answer: Willow
  8. What type of virus at a Chipotle near the Boston College campus sent over 80 students, including much of the men's basketball team, to the hospital in the fall of 2015?  Answer: Norovirus
  9. The largest living lizard can't breathe fire but it does have a venomous bite that inhibits blood clotting. What creature is this?  Answer: Komodo dragon
  10. There are three conventional groups of mammals. The monotremes (including the platypus and echidna) are the oldest and the placentals (including humans) are the most recent to evolve. What third group evolved in between these two other groups?  Answer: Marsupials
  11. Mycologists often spend a lot of time digging through dirt as they study what type of natural organism?  Answer: Fungi
  12. What is the common name for the group of flatfish species well-known for their camouflage abilities and for the peculiar positioning of both eyes on one side of the body? Interestingly, at hatching, one eye is on either side of the body but an eye moves over to join the other before reaching adulthood.  Answer: Flounder
  13. Aptly named for its ghastly odor while in bloom, what gargantuan flower notoriously takes nearly ten years before blossoming?  Answer: Corpse Flower
  14. What is the longest type of cell in the human body?  Answer: Nerve cell (neuron)
  15. A commonly-sought fish in Minnesota is the "Muskellunge" which is often deemed the "ugly" variety of what family of fish? This family is distinguished by its torpedo-like form and sharp teeth.  Answer: Pike
  16. "It’s Every Monkey for Themselves: A True Story of Sex, Love and Lies in the Jungle" is a memoir by what well-known Australian scientist about her time in Costa Rican jungles?  Answer: Vanessa Woods
  17. What frequently-misnomered mammal has fingerprints so indistinguishable from humans that they have occasionally been wrongfully collected as evidence at crime scenes?  Answer: Koalas
  18. What is the collective name for any eukaryotic organism that is not a plant, animal, or fungus? These are found both on land and in marine environments.  Answer: Protist
  19. In a popular example of Batesian mimicry, the black, red, and yellow coloring of the harmless milk snake look strikingly similar to what "underwater" type of snake?  Answer: Coral snake
  20. What common vegetable is the most-cultivated member of the Allium genus, has an unknown country of origin, has been used for at least 7,000 years by humans, and is considered toxic for cats and dogs?  Answer: Onion
  21. The species Ramphastos sulfuratus is also known as the keel-billed, sulfur-breasted, or rainbow-billed species of what colorful Latin American bird?  Answer: Toucan
  22. Buzzard, John crow, and carrion crow are all alternate names for what bird with a two-word name? Each of the two words is a bird in its own right, one of which is popularly associated with an autumnal holiday. This bird lacks the vocal organ of birds so its only vocalizations are grunts or low hisses.  Answer: Turkey vulture
  23. Cyt or cyto are common medical prefixes with what meaning?  Answer: Cell
  24. The Proverbs 17:22 passage "a merrie heart doth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones" led to the popular idiom that "______ is the best medicine." What word fills in the blank? In fact, this idiom has been validated by scientific researchers that indicate painful experiences may indeed be lessened with this "treatment."  Answer: Laughter
  25. What is the general name for a protein that acts as a catalyst accelerating a chemical reaction? They typically do this by lowering activation energy needed for a reaction.  Answer: Enzyme
  26. Strangely enough, the Guinness Book of World Records has an entry for the "fastest wing beat of a bird" and the record holder has an astonishing 200 beats/flaps per SECOND. This record-holder is the ruby-throated variety of what type of bird?  Answer: Hummingbird
  27. Although the study of animal sex is still being actively researched, there's currently only one known demonstration of nasal sex in the animal kingdom, found in what type of Amazonian animal?  Answer: Dolphin
  28. What is the name for any of the three bird species in the genus Fratercula? These birds all feature black and white plumage, hunt most of their food by diving into the water, and have beaks that turn a colorful bright orange in preparation for breeding season.  Answer: Puffin
  29. The smallest known owl is only 5-6 inches tall and weighs less than two ounces. It has a name reminiscent of Middle Earth or Will Ferrell. What is this owl?  Answer: Elf Owl
  30. In ecosystems, the way different animals eat each other can be represented in a chart. Different from a food chain, name this chart made up of all the food chains in an ecosystem.  Answer: Food Web
  31. Turtles, toads, and tarantulas are all ectothermic animals, which is typically referred to by what more common term?  Answer: Cold blooded
  32. When speaking in English, the name of this animal shares its name with a country. In French and Russian, the animal has a name meaning "from India" or "bird of India." And in Portuguese the animal is named "peru" deriving from the eponymous country. What is this confusingly named animal?  Answer: Turkey
  33. What is the alliterative name for the shark that has a distinctly circular bite mark? Technically it is the species Isistius brasiliensis but its more common name comes from a kitchen utensil which is also used to create distinctly-cut shapes.  Answer: Cookiecutter shark
  34. The last widely-accepted sighting of a certain bird species was in 1662 on the island nation of Mauritius. Intriguingly, due to the bird's remote home, the creature was considered mythological for a period of time. What is this bird?  Answer: Dodo
  35. Aside from the giraffe, what odd-looking "O" creature is the only living member of the giraffe family, or “Giraffids”?  Answer: Okapi
  36. The Delaware Bay is home to more of these "living fossils" than anywhere else in the world and they are currently used in biomedical research to study the human eye. What are these animals?  Answer: Horseshoe Crabs
  37. What tube-like organ (generally more ball shaped on a human) makes up one to five percent of an owl's bodyweight, depending on species?  Answer: The eye
  38. The ______fish shares its name with a striped land animal and is studied for the amazing properties of its heart, which is regenerative and can mend itself quickly. What word fills in the blank?  Answer: Zebrafish
  39. Name the species of bird that has a tongue so long it wraps around the back of their skull when not in use, protecting their brains while they tap into trees.  Answer: Woodpecker
  40. Lepidopterology is the branch of biology dedicated to the study of what winged creatures?  Answer: Moths and butterflies
  41. Although plentiful when European settlers first arrived, the white-faced owl or whekau that was native to New Zealand was largely extinct by 1914. Because of its "mischievous-sounding" calls, the owl had what a common, comic name?  Answer: Laughing owl
  42. What slender-bodied shark is harmless to humans and named for the striking pattern of black saddle-like markings and large spots over its back?  Answer: Leopard shark
  43. Dating back to 3600 BCE in Persia, water-filled "bladder" mattresses were made from an oft-discarded organ of a particular domesticated animal. What is this animal?  Answer: Goat
  44. In 2013, there was an animal shot in Hart County that was the first verified sighting of the species in Kentucky in modern times. What was the animal?  Answer: Gray wolf
  45. Sarah Bernhardt and Ben Harrison were the oddly human-sounding names of two creatures that were first brought to Golden Gate Park in 1890 and have become a fixture ever since. Or, their descendants have. What type of animal were Sarah and Ben?  Answer: Bison
  46. There's a "spooky" sea creature found only in extreme deep sea conditions that, despite its name, is more closely related to octopi than squids. It features rows of fleshy spines in its inner black "cloak." What is the name of this creature?  Answer: Vampire squid
  47. What is the (quite fun to say or spell) name for an infection disease caused by an agent that has jumped from a non-human animal to a human?  Answer: Zoonosis
  48. The prevalence sexual cannibalism in which after mating the female consumes the male inspired the name for what type of spiders? There are theories that this behavior may increase the survival odds of eventual offspring.  Answer: Black widow spiders
  49. What family of some of the largest flying birds includes "mute" and "trumpeter" species and weirdly has "teeth" which are actually jagged parts of their bill used for catching and eating fish?  Answer: Swans
  50. Also known as the spiny anteater, what animal native to Australia and New Guinea is highly unusual in that it is a mammal that lays eggs?  Answer: Echidna
  51. Known for their pale skin, buck teeth, and near hairlessness, what strange-looking rodents can live for up to 18 minutes without oxygen?  Answer: Naked mole rats
  52. What is the hybrid fictional creature in Dungeons & Dragons that is a cross between an owl and one other animal? This creature attacks with its beak and also "hugs" its enemies.  Answer: Owlbear
  53. What word means a female dairy animal that has not yet given birth and therefore does not produce milk?  Answer: Heifer
  54. In DNA, the four nucleotide bases are adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine; in RNA, what base replaces thymine?  Answer: Uracil
  55. Sounding like it might be made of a shiny metal, what is the name of the substance found in chromosomes that is a complex mixture of proteins, DNA, and RNA?  Answer: Chromatin
  56. What is the Latin "C" word that is used in English to refer to either an eyelash (when speaking anatomically) or an organelle on eukaryotic cells that projects from a much larger cell body (when speaking microbiologically)?  Answer: Cilium
  57. Kopi luwak is coffee made from coffee cherries that have been eaten, partly digested, and defecated by what Asian mammal?  Answer: Civet
  58. A 60-foot-long marine invertebrate made up of thousands of individual clones that together form a long, free-floating cylinder wide enough for a person to enter has what name that comes from the Greek words for fire and body?  Answer: Giant Pyrosome
  59. Since they don't have lips to blow on them, Bassian thrushes draw worms out via moving leaves with what kind of expulsion?  Answer: Farts
  60. Sharing their name with a common cleaning tool, what is the more common name of the worlds most simple animals from the phylum Porifera?  Answer: Sponges
  61. Though their stinging tentacles aren't actually snakes, jellyfish are part of a subphylum named for what Gorgon?  Answer: Medusa
  62. A gigaannum is a term that represents a very long time. One billion years in fact. About 3.5 gigaannumms ago was when what critical process used to convert light energy into chemical energy is estimated to have begun?  Answer: Photosynthesis
  63. Rotational symmetry is the property in which a shape looks the same after a partial rotation or turn. When applied to biology such as in sea anemones, what other "R" term is used to describe this characteristic?  Answer: Radial symmetry
  64. Copepods are small marine crustaceans found in nearly every saltwater and freshwater environment. Somewhat uniquely, these organisms have three of what part of the eye?  Answer: Lens
  65. Functioning extremely differently than mammalian eyesight, two different groups of snakes developed "pits" that function as eyes by allowing them to see objects nearby based on what wavelength-based phenomenon?  Answer: Infrared thermal radiation
  66. Trepanging is the harvesting of what elongated, leathery Pacific creature you probably don't want in your gyro?  Answer: Sea cucumber
  67. Australia built a 3,000-mile-long fence during the 1880s just to block the movement of what baby-snatching species?  Answer: Dingo
  68. Microbiology has many branches including virology (studies viruses), parasitology (studies parasites), and nematology (you guessed it -- studies nematodes). What is the more common compound-word name for a nematode?  Answer: Roundworm
  69. Commonly found on live oaks and bald-cypresses, what is the name of the flowering plant with a doubly-inaccurate name that is referred to as "grandpas beard" in French Polynesia and is generally considered to be in a commensalistic relationship with the trees on which it lives?  Answer: Spanish moss
  70. The kakapo is a species of large, ground-dwelling birds endemic to New Zealand. These birds are also commonly referred to by what two-word name which includes another bird's name?  Answer: Owl parrot
  71. At only one-half of one millimeter long, tardigrades are considered a microanimal found in marine environments that also happen to be one of the most resilient animals known. What is the more common two-word name for these animals based on their resemblance to a certain land-bound animal?  Answer: Water bear (or moss piglet)
  72. The largest eyes of any animal on Earth are nearly 11 inches across, with lenses the size of oranges. That means the eyes are approximately the size of soccer balls. These eyes give "binocular-like" vision to the "colossal" variety of what sea-dweller?  Answer: Squid
  73. Units called ommatidia are the individual pieces that combine to create the type of eye often found in insects, crustaceans, and millipedes. What is this scientific-sounding name for an eye?  Answer: Compound eye
  74. In a feat of inter-species biotechnology, researchers at the University of Wyoming were able to insert the silk-producing gene from spiders into what mammal which enabled them to harvest long strands of spider milk from the animal's milk?  Answer: Goats
  75. The "electric organ," unsurprisingly, creates an electric field that is used for navigation, communication, defense, mating and more. It's a very multifaceted organ. In what type of animal will you find this organ? We're looking for a common four-letter word that technically is a group of four classes of animals.  Answer: Fish
  76. Mucorales is a fungus better known by colorful name, and can cause a serious fungal infection in humans, especially those with repressed immune systems? It thrives in unsanitary conditions, such as on moldy bread.  Answer: Black fungus
  77. Free floating colonial tunicates, Pyrosomes are free floating cylinders that sometimes wash up on the shore, and are often referred to as the sea version of what common sandwich accompaniment?  Answer: Sea Pickles
  78. A microbiologist at UC Berkeley discovered DNA that had aspects of multiple species of bacteria, and named it after what cybernetic villains of “Star Trek: The Next Generation?” They similar build their race by assimilating other species into their own.  Answer: Borg
  79. A study has revealed that 40 percent of ______-tailed deer have had the Coronavirus. Fill in the one word colorful blank, also the color of the room with black curtains in a Cream song.  Answer: white
  80. An overturned carnival truck near the home of a certain Mr. Black is one origin story for Brevard, North Carolina's weird squirrels with coats of what color?  Answer: White
  81. Since they lead a more aquatic life than other salamanders, the wild-looking axolotl don't shed what external respiratory organ?  Answer: Gills
  82. What is the name of the tubular sucking organ that butterflies use to extract nectar from flowers and elephants have in the form of a trunk?  Answer: Proboscis
  83. A unique mix of fatty tissues can cause dead bodies to mummify into what useful household substance?  Answer: Soap mummies
  84. What dozy treetop mammal can hold its breath underwater for a whopping 40 minutes, even longer than dolphins?  Answer: Sloth
  85. A company called Mycorrhiza Biotech's products include pine seedlings inoculated with the bianchetto variety of what fungus that is highly valuable to chefs?  Answer: truffle
  86. Pour yourself another gin and tonic: What mosquito-borne, parasitic disease causes red blood cells to explode after they've served as a mating ground?  Answer: Malaria
  87. What “A” marine animal is a predator of order Actinaria, who gets its name from the Earth flower it resembles with its brightly colored sticky exterior? It sits on the sea floor and captures unassuming prey.  Answer: Anemone
  88. Officially recognized as its state berry in 1991, Maine is one the world’s top producers of the wild variety of what fruit that is actually deep purple due to its anthocyanin antioxidants?  Answer: Blueberry
  89. Artists who are scared of using Sherwin Williams paint hues Forstythia and La Luna Amarilla might have xanthophobia – which is the fear of the what color?  Answer: Yellow
  90. Measuring up to 23 feet long when spread out from end to end, what “petite” gastrointestinal organ has three regions called the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum?  Answer: Small intestine
  91. What largest extant bear species, and largest extant land carnivore, species U. maritimus, is difficult to see on infrared cameras, due to blubber and fur blocking their heat?  Answer: Polar Bear
  92. What is the only part of the human body to have absolutely no blood supply? Due to the lack of blood vessels, it is virtually transparent.  Answer: Cornea
  93. Omphalophobia is the specific fear of what body part biologically classified as the umbilicus?  Answer: Navel
  94. Twenty percent of the oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere is provided exclusively by what large rainforest?  Answer: The Amazon
  95. The opposite of the placebo effect, which effect is said to occur when a negative medical outcome results from a patient’s belief that medical intervention will be detrimental?  Answer: Nocebo effect
  96. The highly poisonous blue-ringed octopus warns people to "buzz off" by lighting up super bright rings powered partly by what G-word nucleobase that's in DNA and Monster energy drinks?  Answer: Guanine
  97. With exclamations that can travel as far as 5km, one of the loudest land animals is what aptly named monkey group?  Answer: Howler monkeys
  98. The phenomenon of cryptophasia is a language developed between which type of relatives that can be described as monozygotic or dizygotic?  Answer: Twins
  99. Sometimes, foxes are able to pounce upon small prey because they can sense what kind of fields that are naked to the human eye? The foxes can sense changes in the electrostatic attraction between objects.  Answer: Magnetic fields
  100. What “T” eight-legged segmented micro-animals can actually survive in the vacuum of space?  Answer: Tardigrade
  101. There was a boom in sales of frill-necked lizards as domesticated pets after the release of what 1993 film featuring a similar, very extinct critter?  Answer: Jurassic Park
  102. “Brille” is the name of the transparent, immovable disc-shaped skin or scale comprising part of which organs of some animals, particularly snakes?  Answer: Eyes
  103. What is the common two-word name of the carnivorous marsupial, the world’s largest until its extinction in the first half of the 20th century, associated with the island of Tasmania? This marsupial was characterized by transverse stripes along its back and is also known as a Thylacine or Tasmanian wolf.  Answer: Tasmanian Tiger
  104. Waxy buildup in the human ear is actually a form of what moisture exuded from pores on the skin, usually associated with exercise or high temperatures?  Answer: Sweat
  105. A person is about 1 cm taller in the morning, compared to when they go to bed. This is because what “C” tissue that connects bones is squished over the course of a day?  Answer: Cartilage
  106. In what “G” French speaking West African nation, whose capital is Libreville, do chimpanzees use insects to treat their wounds?  Answer: Gabon
  107. The rare condition of a dorsal cutaneous appendage on a human being is more commonly known as what four-letter vestigial body part?  Answer: Tail
  108. An average human performs what basic eye function about 20 times a minute, or over ten million times a year? At year's end, your eye must be really moist.  Answer: Blink
  109. What “E” astronomical event, during which the moon blocks Earth’s sunlight, can also affect the flight patterns of certain birds?  Answer: Eclipse
  110. It might be surprising to learn that the human tongue has about 8,000 taste ______ covering its surface and helping people taste their food. Fill in the one word “B” blank, also the term for growths on plants that develop into a new leaf or flower.  Answer: Taste Buds

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