Turkey Trivia—Universal Cargo’s Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Blog
It’s back! The blog I know we’re all most thankful for… Universal Cargo’s Thanksgiving Turkey Blog!
Yes, it’s become a Universal Cargo tradition that every year when Thanksgiving rolls around, I post a blog that brings together turkey and international shipping. Why? Because we post blogs on Thursdays and Thanksgiving always falls on a Thursday.
Oh, why did the days on which we post blogs have to be Tuesdays and Thursdays?!
I actually thought I got rid of this blog a few years ago. I think I actually skipped the Universal Cargo Thanksgiving Turkey Blog altogether in 2014. However, in 2015, one of my bosses, whom I will not name (ahem, Raymond Rau), emailed me with, “We getting some Turkey Blog this year? My favorite seasonal blog topic! haha.”
Since my anxiety is far too high for me to take the email purely as sarcasm—which it had to be, right? Right?!—the Turkey Blog was reborn out of the ashes. Wait, that’s a phoenix. Turkey… Out of the oven? You know what, scratch that last part.
Last year, there was a new twist to the blog. A quiz! My family actually sat around trying to answer the questions about the bird traditionally eaten on this day and shipping factoids about the country that shares its name (when they are normally never interested in the international shipping blogs I write). Since that was actually entertaining, this year I’m bringing back the quiz with a combination of new and previously used questions.
So with no more adieu (as if anyone actually read all of this adieu anyway), here it is—dedicated to you, Ray (possibly the only person reading this?)—Universal Cargo’s Turkey Blog Turkey Quiz:
1. Even though the turkey population was hunted to around 30,000 birds in the 1900s, the current turkey population is what?
a) 100,000 birds
b) 3 million birds
c) 7 million birds
d) over 10 millions birds
The answer is c) according to Smithsonian.
2. Which founding father preferred the turkey to the bald eagle?
a) Benjamin Franklin
b) George Washington
c) John Quincy Adams
d) Alexander Hamilton
The answer is a). Benjamin Franklin wrote to his daughter about how the turkey is more courageous and respectable than the bald eagle, which we covered thoroughly in a previous Turkey Day blog. The other founding fathers didn’t leave such strong evidence concerning their feelings about the two birds other than the fact that the bald eagle was chosen as the national bird and the turkey was not.
3. The U.S. ranks where in Turkey’s trading partners in terms of export sales?
The answer is d) according to World’s Top Exports.
4. How many subspecies of turkeys are there?
There are 6 according to Smithsonian, making the answer c), with Pilgrims hunting and eating the eastern wild turkey, M. gallopavo silvestris.
5. Which of the following CANNOT be used to conclude a turkey’s sex?
b) tail feathers
The answer is a). Many turkeys have special feathers, which look like a tuft of coarse hair, that are referred to as a beard. More often than not, guessing a bearded turkey to be male would be correct. However, the beard is not enough to conclude the sex of the bird. While it is more common for male turkeys to have beards, many female turkeys also have these special feathers. According to reference.com:
“If one sees a beard on a turkey, it indicates that the turkey is probably a male — about 10 to 20 percent of female turkeys also grow beards. Regardless of whether the turkey is male or female, the beard can be up to 18 inches long with an average length of nine inches.”
It should be noted that beards on lady turkeys do not seem to be a turn off for male turkeys.
b) is incorrect because as is common with many birds, male turkeys have more brightly colored feathers than their female counterparts. On top of this, only male turkeys fan their tails according to reference.com.
“A turkey’s gender can be determined from its droppings–males produce spiral-shaped poop and females’ poop is shaped like the letter J,” says Smithsonian, making c) incorrect. That’s an appetizing thought before Thanksgiving dinner.
d) is incorrect because, like the men in any Western you can watch John Wayne or Clint Eastwood in, male turkeys have spurs. According to animals.mom.me, “As male turkeys become sexually mature at about 6 months of age, they begin developing long talons, one on the back of each leg. Known as spurs, these talons grow throughout the turkeys’ lives. Only male turkeys grow the spurs…”
6. How many U.S. dollars worth of product did Turkey ship around the globe in 2016?
a) $952.4 million
b) $6.3 billion
c) $142.6 billion
d) $752.6 billion
The answer is c) according to World’s Top Exports.
7. What is the Galloping Gobbler?
a) A mythic turkey that eats poorly behaved children on Thanksgiving Day.
b) A Thanksgiving Day football MVP award.
c) An annual Thanksgiving Day horse race.
d) Something I just made up for this quiz
The answer is b). FOX started giving out this annual award in 2002 to a Thanksgiving player of the game after traditional Thanksgiving Day games the company broadcasts.
8. The size of a male turkey’s ___________ factors in to whether a female turkey chooses him as a mate.
Don’t let that female turkey fool you. Size matters. The answer is d).
The Journal of Avian Biology published the results of studies that found the size of a male’s snood has a significant effect on his love life and competition with other gobblers:
… a male’s relative snood length, a character previously shown to be used by females in mate choice, is also predictive of the outcome of male-male competition. Complementary trials using artificial males confirmed that live males assess the snood length of potential competitors independent of other male characteristics.
What is a snood? Wikipedia describes it well:
In anatomical terms, the snood is an erectile, fleshy protuberance on the forehead of turkeys. Most of the time when the turkey is in a relaxed state, the snood is pale and 2-3 cm long. However, when the male begins strutting (the courtship display), the snood engorges with blood, becomes redder and elongates several centimeters, hanging well below the beak.
9. What is Turkey’s #1 Export (as of 2016)?
b) gems & precious metals
d) machinery (including computers)
According to World’s Top Exports, the answer is a) vehicles. Gems & precious metals (Is that really just one export?) is #3. Clothing comes in at 7, and machinery (including computers) is #2.
10. How fast can a turkey run?
a) 5 miles per hour
b) 10 miles per hour
c) 15 miles per hour
d) 25 miles per hour
e) turkeys can’t run
Perhaps I cheated by putting an extra choice on this one, but since I’m creating the Turkey Blog Quiz, I can’t cheat. So deal with it. This wasn’t a trick question. Turkeys can run. The answer is d) according to Smithsonian.
Humans are still faster (though definitely not all). Google says humans’ top speed is 28 miles per hour, which I believe is the speed Usain Bolt was clocked at.
Okay, that’s enough. I hope you enjoyed this year’s Turkey Blog. Don’t get so distracted by turkey that you forget to be thankful for all the important things in your life like family, home… football.