What is the difference between a Dugong and a Manatee?
No, this isn’t one of our quiz questions. But we bring this up as a result of a quiz that one of our setters attended some years ago, which raises an important point. There isn’t a lot of difference between the two species; both are members of the order Sirenia and look very similar, both are also known as the Sea Cow, and both are believed to have given rise to the legend of mermaids.
It is this third point that led to the problem. The question was “Which animal is believed to have given rise to the legend of mermaids?” Of those teams that answered roughly half said Dugong and half said Manatee, but only one of the two was allowed. Ructions!
What made this even worse than normal was that it was in a “Wipeout” round, one where one wrong answer means zero score. So this didn’t mean the difference of one point, but cost some teams six, seven or eight points – the difference between winning and losing for some.
We always recommend reading all the questions and answers before the quiz, so you have a chance to clarify anything you’re unsure of. With a Wipeout round, perhaps go one step further and search for the answers online yourself. You might save yourself some “earache”.