Join our zoo community

ZooChat 'Embrace the ABCs' Challenge - Mammals

Discussion in 'Challenges, Quizzes, Competitions & Games' started by FunkyGibbon, 6 Jan 2020.

  1. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    11 Jan 2015
    Posts:
    2,812
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Preamble

    Today is the day of the Coming of the Kings, and I too bring gifts.....namely, a new challenge concept!

    There are several key differences between this and other challenges we've seen before.

    Introduction

    Firstly, it will not run over a defined time period; instead the challenge will end for everyone when certain conditions have been met

    Secondly, the winner will not be the player with the most species seen. No player will be able to record more than twenty six species. Instead, species recorded will have different points values, and the player with the most points at game's end will win.

    Thirdly, we are not overly concerned with taxonomy or geography here. Instead, we turn our attention to spelling. You have twenty six slots, one for each letter for the alphabet. Each one can only be filled by a mammal species whose generic or specific name begins with that letter.

    Explanation

    Let's get down to the details.

    You can only use a species once in the challenge. So, if you see Panthera tigris, you could count it either in P, or in T, but not in both.

    Points work like this: one point for a specific name beginning with the right letter and two points for a generic name beginning with the right letter. An example:

    I am trying to fill my G slot. At a zoo I see both Gazella dama and Callimico goeldii. Unless I for some reason believe my D slot will be particularly difficult to fill I should choose Gazella dama for G because it is worth two points rather than one. However, if I am thinking even more strategically I may choose to leave G empty after this visit because I know that next week I will visit a zoo with Gorilla gorilla and that would be worth three points, because both the generic name and the specific name begin with the right letter. (There is another reason for tactically leaving it blank, but you work that out for yourself when you've read the full post).

    As you can hopefully see at this point, strategy and planning will be key in this challenge. You will want to try and find those three-pointers, and avoid singles where possible. However, you don't want to be too greedy, because:

    The challenge will end after three people (the podium) fill all twenty six slots. Whatever your total is when that third finishing post is made is your final score. For this reason a mammal in the hand may literally be worth two in the bush. Furthermore, there will be bonuses for those three completers: six point for first, four for second and two for third.

    Hopefully this will encourage both diverging strategies and a sense of urgency. I think it's very likely that the challenge winner will come from the podium, but it won't necessarily be the first completer. Second or third could easily leapfrog them by having more three-pointers or doubles. It's even possible that someone who doesn't complete could win, if they have enough high scoring slots.

    The above should explain the structure of the challenge clearly. If it doesn't I have done a poor job of explaining it, because it genuinely isn't complicated. Below are some additional rules.

    Rules

    Here are three ABC Challenge specific rules that are 'new':

    a. You can record no more than seven species from any single zoo (to limit the power of the big hitters);
    b. You must post your updated total before your next day of scoring zoo visits. This is so that you can't wait to see if you see a tricky species or not. If you visit more than one collection in a day then they can be recorded in the same post, again, before the next day of zoo visiting. I am going to be really strict on this; it will be a disqualifying offense.
    c. You cannot amend or alter your list, once you have posted and recorded a species in a slot it is locked in and cannot be changed.

    As always, credit to @Shorts, who very graciously agreed to let me use his rules.

    1. You have to actually see the animal, even if just for a second.
    2. Proof via photographs is not required, your word is your bond;
    3. You have to see the animal via normal public access and hours;
    4. Any severely limited opening or private collections don't count for this challenge. ;
    5. Domestics, hybrids and wild animals do not count;
    6. My (final) decision is final but I'm open to discussion and debate on any specific points;

    Bookkeeping

    We will be following IUCN nomenclature for this challenge, and please ignore subspecific names, they are not relevant and will potentially confuse things. Please post your updates in the following format:

    *****************************************

    New Zoo (date visited)

    Latin name, Common name
    Latin name, Common name
    Latin name, Common name

    Current List

    A: Latin name, Common name (Zoo, date visited)
    B:
    C: Latin name, Common name (Zoo, date visited)
    D:
    E:
    F: Latin name, Common name (Zoo, date visited)
    G: Latin name, Common name (Zoo, date visited)
    H:
    I: Latin name, Common name (Zoo, date visited)
    J:
    K: Latin name, Common name (Zoo, date visited)
    L:
    M:
    N:
    O: Latin name, Common name (Zoo, date visited)
    P:
    Q:
    R:
    S: Latin name, Common name (Zoo, date visited)
    T:
    U: Latin name, Common name (Zoo, date visited)
    V: Latin name, Common name (Zoo, date visited)
    W:
    X:
    Y:
    Z: Latin name, Common name (Zoo, date visited)

    Points: number

    *****************************************

    Outroduction

    Just to reiterate before closing, it is not the first to complete who wins, but the player with the highest points total after three players have completed who will be victorious.

    You will notice I haven't said anything about geographic restrictions. This is a global challenge in the sense that anyone can play and they can record species from zoos in multiple regions. However, in reality I am expecting this to play very locally. It shouldn't be that hard to complete and I suspect it will all be over quite quickly. And that is absolutely okay, I want this to feel like a race rather an accumulation challenge. We will go live at midnight tonight!
     
  2. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    11 Jan 2015
    Posts:
    2,812
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Just a quick note on thread housekeeping: please don't discuss strategies publicly, whether it's what species to target or what combination of zoos to visit. Figuring that out will be key to winning.
     
  3. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    13 Jun 2007
    Posts:
    21,191
    Location:
    not travelling
    I was hoping you'd have a rule that letters have to be used in order. So A has to be used before B and both before C, etc. Then it would really be a long-term challenge.
     
    ThylacineAlive, Ursus and Vision like this.
  4. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    11 Jan 2015
    Posts:
    2,812
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    :D I'll take it under advisement. Maybe in future versions.
     
  5. HOMIN96

    HOMIN96 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    24 May 2012
    Posts:
    745
    Location:
    Czech republic
    I will never find a true love :(:D

    Also asking, can I use some of the species I already saw in my Jihlava visit on 2nd January or only visits after official start (midnight) count?
     
    ThylacineAlive likes this.
  6. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    11 Jan 2015
    Posts:
    2,812
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Only species seen on visits after midnight :p
     
    CGSwans and pipaluk like this.
  7. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    11 Jan 2015
    Posts:
    2,812
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    I have had a private query by an astute would-be competitor:
    The seven slots per zoo limit is only per zoo, not per day.
    ;)
     
  8. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    13 Jun 2007
    Posts:
    21,191
    Location:
    not travelling
    Can a person go back to the same zoo on another day and use seven different species? Because I only have one zoo...
     
  9. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    13 Jun 2007
    Posts:
    21,191
    Location:
    not travelling
    And also I'm wondering about X - how many zoo mammals are xanthos or xeros or whatever? Off the top of my head I can think of none.
     
  10. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    11 Jan 2015
    Posts:
    2,812
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    No you can't. It's seven per zoo across the whole challenge. But they don't all have to be seen on the same day.

    So this is kind of the sort of question I (perhaps naively) want to avoid. What I will say is that I know that Europeans can complete the challenge, and actually 'UK only' players can too (unless I am mistaken). Whilst I haven't checked I would be astonished if US competitors can't. For Oceaneans I am not so sure, but remember you don't have to complete to be competitive (although it seems like a good idea :p)
     
  11. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    13 Jun 2007
    Posts:
    21,191
    Location:
    not travelling
    I should have thought a bit harder. There is at least one X in Australian zoos as well.
     
  12. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    11 Jan 2015
    Posts:
    2,812
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Yes, I thought there might be ;)
     
  13. Ursus

    Ursus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    25 Mar 2018
    Posts:
    150
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Does every animal from every class count? As in; reptiles, birds, mammals, amphibians, fish and invertebrates?

    And what is the rule regarding subspecies?
    For example; California bighorn sheep Ovis canadensis californiana.
    Can I then put it in slots B and O or also C (due to the subspecies common name starting with it). Or would it then be C and O?
     
    Last edited: 7 Jan 2020
  14. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    11 Jan 2015
    Posts:
    2,812
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Great question! I put it in the title of the thread but actually not in the text. This challenge is mammals only. It's too easy if you include other classes.
     
  15. Crowthorne

    Crowthorne Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    13 Jan 2014
    Posts:
    1,017
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, UK
    I'm intrigued, but not confused (thankfully!). I'll try and play along :)
     
  16. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    11 Jan 2015
    Posts:
    2,812
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK

    We are ignoring subspecies altogether.

    Ovis canadensis could go into either O or C, but not both. It could never go into B (we are only concerned with Latin names).
     
  17. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    16 May 2010
    Posts:
    10,990
    Location:
    Wilds of Northumberland
    I'm not entirely sure every letter is possible with mammals-only :p
     
  18. ThomasNotTom

    ThomasNotTom Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    22 Aug 2016
    Posts:
    512
    Location:
    Somerset/Devon/Nottingham
    With the zoo limit, could I report seeing 4 species one day, and the other 3 upon my next visit? Thanks.
     
  19. HOMIN96

    HOMIN96 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    24 May 2012
    Posts:
    745
    Location:
    Czech republic
    There is an "x" species and "w" species so only Y remains as the problematic one. I'm sure we'll find something. Interestingly enough I was more concerned about the X species, but it should have probably been the other way around...:D
     
  20. Mr. Zootycoon

    Mr. Zootycoon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    3 Jun 2015
    Posts:
    774
    Location:
    probably in a zoo
    There's a "y" species too, don't worry! At least, on the European continent that is.

    Edit: there are at least two!
     
    Last edited: 7 Jan 2020