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ZooChat 'Embrace the ABCs' Challenge - Mammals

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

  1. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    10 Nov 2015
    Posts:
    2,654
    Location:
    USA
    Chli sums it up perfectly, and I know it will likely be the case for several others as well. A lot of workers in the US are free just for the first day of the year, even - another reason we try to get regional/global challenges up a day before, if people wish to participate on that first day.

    Another caveat is that all of these challenges run for a year in length. They occur over multiple holidays, providing many chances for competing forum members to take a trip if they wish. This might not be the case with this particular challenge, should 3 members who are not held down by other commitments fill up their lists do so, then the rest of the forum is out of the competition.
    Yes, and if they were valid there (which I feel some were) then why not here? I did make changes where I felt it was wanted and appropriate. However, it’s only really the first point of the three in what you quoted that applies to both. In mine, and the other annual challenges, there is no need to be so immediate with what counts and doesn’t. But in this challenge the point was quite explicitly made that you must.
     
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  2. CGSwans

    CGSwans Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    12 Feb 2009
    Posts:
    2,704
    Location:
    Melbourne
    But that isn't really relevant because this challenge isn't tied to a specific time. It's just from when Funky launched it until somebody triggers the necessary clause to bring it to a close. Maybe it's unlucky for you that he launched it after you went to St Louis, but that bad luck doesn't mean that the game should wait a whole 11 months to commence.

    This leads me into where I think it's an attractive addition to the roster of challenges: once somebody wins it can start all over again. If one round doesn't work for your timetable, you'll soon have another chance.

    It can be a perpetual trophy of sorts: if Chlidonias is travelling through Malaysia and Singapore in, say, April, then he'll be a strong chance to win a challenge timed around then, whereas he's still very unlikely to have any sort of shot at the annual award. In that respect, this is a good challenge for people who have limited opportunities to travel, unlike the annual ones which really are effectively limited to people who have multiple opportunities to roam during a calendar year.

    These challenges aren't in competition with each other: they complement each other.
     
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  3. Mr. Zootycoon

    Mr. Zootycoon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    3 Jun 2015
    Posts:
    775
    Location:
    probably in a zoo
    This challenge isn't completely fair, but neither are the annual challenges. And there's no way to make them entirely fair. The active zoochat community is a varied bunch, with members all over the world, from all walks of life. Money, time and the possibility to travel aren't equally distributed. The beauty of the Zoochat challenges is that all those people can participate and have a fun challenge together.


    Maybe we could just run the challenge once, see what happens and then maybe adjust it if necessary?
     
  4. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    13 Jun 2007
    Posts:
    23,234
    Location:
    not travelling
    So I spent the day wasting my time on this for no good reason, but I enjoyed myself and that's the main thing.

    I won't go into details but for three of the five "main" cities I looked at it was easy to get 25 species (for the other two centres it was 22 and 23 species). Total maximum points ranged between 44 for the lowest and 55 for the highest.


    The maximum score for the whole of Australia is 59 or 60 points (12 or 13 three-pointers; 9 or 10 two-pointers; 3 single points), with the only letter missing being Y.


    For New Zealand the maximum score is only 46 points (9 three-pointers; 6 two-pointers; 7 single points), and there are four letters missing entirely: W X Y Z
     
    Last edited: 10 Jan 2020
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  5. Vision

    Vision Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    29 Aug 2015
    Posts:
    943
    Location:
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Antwerp Zoo (10/01/2020)

    Gorilla gorilla, Western Gorilla.
    Suricata suricatta, Meerkat.
    Zalophus californianus, California Sea Lion.

    Current List

    A:
    B:
    C:
    D:
    E:
    F:
    G: Gorilla gorilla, Western Gorilla. (3p, Antwerp)
    H:
    I:
    J:
    K:
    L:
    M:
    N:
    O:
    P:
    Q:
    R:
    S: Suricata suricatta, Meerkat. (3p, Antwerp)
    T:
    U:
    V:
    W:
    X:
    Y:
    Z: Zalophus californianus, California Sea Lion. (2p, Antwerp)

    Points: 8.
     
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  6. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    5 Jul 2008
    Posts:
    1,952
    Location:
    Knowle, UK
    Attica Zoo (10/1/2019)

    Dama dama, Fallow deer
    Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris, Capybara
    Monachus monachus, Mediterranean monk seal
    Neofelis nebulosa, Clouded leopard
    Panthera pardus (saxicolor), Persian leopard
    Sus scrofa (libycus), Wild boar
    Tursiops truncatus, Common bottlenose dolphin

    Current List

    A:
    B:
    C:
    D: Dama dama, Fallow deer (Attica Zoo, 10/01/2019, 3 points)
    E:
    F:
    G:
    H: Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris, Capybara (Attica Zoo, 10/01/2019, 3 points)
    I:
    J:
    K:
    L:
    M: Monachus monachus, Mediterranean monk seal (Attica Zoo, 10/01/2019, 3 points)
    N: Neofelis nebulosa, Clouded leopard (Attica Zoo, 10/01/2019, 3 points)
    O:
    P: Panthera pardus (saxicolor), Persian leopard (Attica Zoo, 10/01/2019, 3 points)
    Q:
    R:
    S: Sus scrofa (libycus), Wild boar (Attica Zoo, 10/01/2019, 3 points)
    T: Tursiops truncatus, Common bottlenose dolphin (Attica Zoo, 10/01/2019, 3 points)
    U:
    V:
    W:
    X:
    Y:
    Z:

    Points: 21
     
  7. Someokapinextdoor

    Someokapinextdoor Member

    Joined:
    10 Jan 2020
    Posts:
    11
    Location:
    Berlin
    Hi every one
    I want to say that I only registered in this forum so I could compete in this challenge. Let's see, how far it goes...;)
     
  8. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    11 Jan 2015
    Posts:
    4,175
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    I've highlighted a section in bold that I can't follow.

    Different regions of the world are different, and this introduces inequality, which is a pity, although if the inequality is granular it's also interesting (this may still be the case on a larger scale, possibly America has an edge for reptiles). I don't want any solution to introduce new inequalities, because if it does so people will just be even saltier.

    I feel like we are just going over the same point again and again here. I have introduced a new rule that will allow most Americans to be excused of one letter. We disagree over the fact that I've also modified the bonus, but there are good reasons for doing that.

    This challenge is deliberately experimenting with the concept of a faster structure. Does a time limit that is independent of other players' actions level the playing field? Looking back at previous challenges it seems to offer only two ways to compete: either criss-cross a continent visiting major zoos or visit smaller zoos closer to you almost every single weekend. Especially the first one requires large amounts of disposable time and income, things many people don't have. I hope that this challenge, with its more limited scope, will prove more accessible, but if it doesn't the worst that can have happened is that I will have enabled a different kind of demographic abnormality.

    I freely admit that this is a possibility. It should be clear to anyone who has read the rules that this could have already been over if someone wanted it that badly. And honestly, if it happens that someone wins before most have even got started I will laugh, congraulate them, and give the rules a good tweak to slow them down next time.

    As an aside, who are these serious competitors? The only way for them to seriously prepare would be to organise their life such that at the point the challenge opened they were able to do the kind of blitz run that right now you are worried others may make. And somehow that seems like more of a threat to the game.

    Luckily a (the) Z species has now been posted, so @birdsandbats's age of torment is over.

    Apart from some of @Shorts' commendably more unusual offerings, we've never had a challenge that didn't require players to know the scientific names of the animals they are looking at. This challenge is imperfect in that if a species is un- or incorrectly signed people may miss it and may not count it, but that's been an issue with lots of the past challenges. I think that this challenge performs better in this regard, since after the English name the scientific name is the most likely information to be signed. It's more common than geographic range and conservation status.

    If I had a list of 5,416 mammals that was sortable alphabetically by both genus and specific name I would share it here. But I don't and I'm not going to waste my time generating one. If anyone else has such a thing, feel free to share it. Or don't, and enjoy the small and temporary competitive edge that not doing so will grant you.

    (As I and others have pointed out, having a play with some of the features of ZTL will get you pretty far. And yes, I am not blind to the fact that it will get Europeans further)

    Because the list has a maximum of 26 entries, and each zoo has a maximum of 7, I anticipate that the amount of bookkeeping that would need to be done on any one evening will be pretty small. (If someone is visiting multiple zoos on successive days this issue is not going to plague them for long). There are decisions to be made, and those decisions may have long term implications. I suggest the following, for all players:

    Plan ahead a little (to the extent that this is fun for you)
    Pay attention during your visit (to the extent that this is fun for you)
    When recording species, consider whether getting the maximum score for today will cost you in the long run (to the extent that this is fun for you)

    If at any point this challenge stops being fun, stop. Go outside, read a book or kiss someone (or do all three if you think they won't mind). You really don't have to aggressively maximise your points to time ratio for this to be an enjoyable way to add a little something to your zoo visiting*.

    *but you can, if that's fun for you.
     
    Last edited: 11 Jan 2020
  9. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    13 Jun 2007
    Posts:
    23,234
    Location:
    not travelling
    I don't understand the complaint that scientific names aren't available in list form.


    Mammal Species of the World lists them all. The taxonomy page lists all the Orders from which you can easily click through to get the genera and species - under each family the genera and species are listed alphabetically. You can't really search them out as an entire alphabetical list (there is a way - see below) but it's not going to take a huge amount of time to scroll through the families, especially because there are various groups which you should know aren't available to see in zoos.
    For an extremely imperfect way of doing it alphabetically, in the search box put the letter followed by an asterisk (e.g. a*) and this will give all results starting with the letter A - the problem with it is that it searches not just the genus and species but also citations, authors, etc etc, so you end up with an extremely long list to scroll through containing a LOT of irrelevant results for your purpose. However it will include every genus and specific name starting with A and you should be able to easily pick out the three-pointer (e.g. if there was a species named Animal animal).
    Mammal Species of the World - Browse


    Additionally, Wikipedia lists all the genera on one page (there are 1258 of them) and they can be clicked on to find the species.


    I just googled "mammal genera listed alphabetically" and got this: Genus List (Alphabetical) (I only skimmed it and I can see that it isn't fully complete [and some genera may not match with the IUCN rule for the challenge], but it is an easy start and it gives the common name as well to make it even easier, and clicking on the genus gives the species).


    But most of all, you are likely to already know which mammals your local zoos hold so you can just create your list from what is available, trying to get the highest combinations of letters, and then see which letters are still missing at the end. Unless a person plans on making a big trip in the immediate future then their results will probably all be from their local area.
     
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  10. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    13 Jun 2007
    Posts:
    23,234
    Location:
    not travelling
    Something I wanted to add in there but forgot, was that I actually like how this challenge is "difficult" and needs some research and planning, because that's fun for me (even though I can't really compete from New Zealand). It's all too easy to just go to the zoo and tick off all the primates or marsupials or whatever. Trying to strategise is much more interesting.
     
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  11. Ursus

    Ursus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    25 Mar 2018
    Posts:
    150
    Location:
    Netherlands
    I don't think this applies to everyone. Considering you have to look at your zoos collection and then figure out which species to go for for maximum points (from a EU perspective; with use of ZTL). Then get those species.
    And I have been spending several hours to find this rumored second Y species in EU. Without any success.... So yeah, I don't think that you can say that the bookkeeping is pretty small as you're going to need to plan a lot in advance which does take time.
     
  12. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    13 Jun 2007
    Posts:
    23,234
    Location:
    not travelling
    How are you searching? I just had a look at the full list of current mammals and found it.
     
  13. Hipporex

    Hipporex Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    19 Oct 2018
    Posts:
    1,396
    Location:
    Northern California
    Sacramento Zoo (January 11, 2019)
    1. Cercopithecus wolfi, Wolf's guneon
    2. Eulemur mongoz, Mongoose lemur
    3. Okapia johnstoni, Okapi
    4. Petrogale xanthopus, Yellow-footed rock-wallaby
    5. Potamochoerus porcus, Red river hog
    6. Varecia variegata, Black-and-white ruffed lemur

    Current List
    A:
    B:
    C: Cercopithecus wolfi, Wolf's guneon (Sacramento Zoo, January 11, 2019) (2 pts)
    D:
    E: Eulemur mongoz, Mongoose lemur (Sacramento Zoo, January 11, 2019) (2 pts)
    F:
    G:
    H:
    I:
    J:
    K:
    L:
    M:
    N:
    O: Okapia johnstoni, Okapi (Sacramento Zoo, January 11, 2019) (2 pts)
    P: Potamochoerus porcus, Red river hog (Sacramento Zoo, January 11, 2019) (3 pts)
    Q:
    R:
    S:
    T:
    U:
    V: Varecia variegata, Black-and-white ruffed lemur (Sacramento Zoo, January 11, 2019) (3 pts)
    W:
    X: Petrogale xanthopus, Yellow-footed rock-wallaby (Sacramento Zoo, January 11, 2019) (1 pts)
    Y:
    Z:

    Points: 13
     
  14. Ursus

    Ursus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    25 Mar 2018
    Posts:
    150
    Location:
    Netherlands
    I used ZTL and set it on Latin names. I likely just skimmed over it. It doesn't really matter anymore thankfully as I should cover this letter in my first zoo visit of the year.
     
  15. ThomasNotTom

    ThomasNotTom Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    22 Aug 2016
    Posts:
    522
    Location:
    Somerset/Devon/Nottingham
    Bristol Zoo (10/01/2020):

    Arctocephalus australis, South American Fur Seal
    Mus muscus, House Mouse
    Rattus rattus, Black rat

    Noahs Ark Zoo Farm (10/01/2020):

    Bison bonasus, European Bison.

    Current List

    A: Arctocephalus australis, South American Fur Seal
    B: Bison bonasus, European Bison.
    C:
    D:
    E:
    F:
    G: Gorilla gorilla, Western Lowland Gorilla.
    H:
    I:
    J:
    K:
    L:
    M: Mus muscus, House Mouse
    N: Nasua nasua, Ring-tailed Coati.
    O:
    P: Pongo pygmaeus, Bornean Orangutan.
    Q:
    R: Rattus rattus, Black rat
    S: Suricata suricatta, Meerkat.
    T: Tapir terrestris, South American Tapir.
    U:
    V:
    W:
    X:
    Y:
    Z:

    Points: 27
     
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  16. Someokapinextdoor

    Someokapinextdoor Member

    Joined:
    10 Jan 2020
    Posts:
    11
    Location:
    Berlin
    Tiergehege Volkspark Rehberge (12/01/2020)

    Ovis orientalis, European mouflon
    Sus scrofa, Wild boar

    Tiergehege Volkspark Hasenheide (12/01/2020)

    Dama dama, Fallow deer

    A:
    B:
    C:
    D: Dama dama, Fallow deer (Hasenheide, 12/01/2019, 3 points)
    E:
    F:
    G:
    H:
    I:
    J:
    K:
    L:
    M:
    N:
    O: Ovis orientalis, European mouflon (Rehberge, 12/01/2019, 3 points)
    P:
    Q:
    R:
    S: Sus scrofa (libycus), Wild boar (Rehberge, 12/01/2019, 3 points)
    T:
    U:
    V:
    W:
    X:
    Y:
    Z:

    Points: 9
     
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  17. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    13 Jun 2007
    Posts:
    23,234
    Location:
    not travelling
    I'm not sure that this counts as a double-O (@FunkyGibbon).

    Firstly, the European Mouflon is basically a feral domestic; secondly, the IUCN treats the European Mouflon as Ovis aries (their O. orientalis is a separate wild species from central Asia). They confuse their page a little by including the common names Cyprian Wild Sheep and Cyprian Mouflon, but their taxonomy text says:

    "The Domestic Sheep and its wild ancestor the Urial are treated here as separate species (following inter alia Shackleton 1997), called Ovis aries and Ovis orientalis respectively. These taxa are sometimes considered to be conspecific, in which case the name Ovis orientalis has generally been used to refer to the wild species and its domesticated form, although some authors use the name Ovis aries for both the wild species and its domestic descendants (see Gentry et al. 1996, BZN 2003, Gentry et al. 2004 and Wilson and Reeder 2005).

    "Wild sheep" and "wild goats" found on Mediterranean islands are generally recognized to have been introduced by humans (Shackleton 1997, Wilson and Reeder 2005), and genetic and archaeozoological studies suggest that they are feral populations of ancient domestic stocks (e.g., Groves 1989, Vigne 1994, Hiendleder et al. 1998, Manceau et al. 1999, Kahila bar-Gal et al. 2002). Consequently, such taxa should be included in the respective domestic species (Capra hircus, Ovis aries) and not as subspecies of the wild taxa (as proposed by Gentry et al. 1996, Gentry et al. 2004, and Gippoliti and Amori 2004)."
     
  18. Someokapinextdoor

    Someokapinextdoor Member

    Joined:
    10 Jan 2020
    Posts:
    11
    Location:
    Berlin
    I was just following ZTL (and Wikipedia). @FunkyGibbon can decide if it counts. I'll remove it or count it as two points if he says so.
     
  19. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    5 Jul 2008
    Posts:
    1,952
    Location:
    Knowle, UK
    Emaar Akvaryum [Istanbul] (12/1/2019)

    Glis glis, Edible dormouse

    An unusual and unexpected addition, but I thought I'd list it now so that it isn't discounted if they seem genuine.

    Current List

    A:
    B:
    C:
    D: Dama dama, Fallow deer (Attica Zoo, 10/01/2019, 3 points)
    E:
    F:
    G: Glis glis, Edible dormouse (Emaar Akvaryum 12/1/2019, 3 points)
    H: Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris, Capybara (Attica Zoo, 10/01/2019, 3 points)
    I:
    J:
    K:
    L:
    M: Monachus monachus, Mediterranean monk seal (Attica Zoo, 10/01/2019, 3 points)
    N: Neofelis nebulosa, Clouded leopard (Attica Zoo, 10/01/2019, 3 points)
    O:
    P: Panthera pardus (saxicolor), Persian leopard (Attica Zoo, 10/01/2019, 3 points)
    Q:
    R:
    S: Sus scrofa (libycus), Wild boar (Attica Zoo, 10/01/2019, 3 points)
    T: Tursiops truncatus, Common bottlenose dolphin (Attica Zoo, 10/01/2019, 3 points)
    U:
    V:
    W:
    X:
    Y:
    Z:

    Points: 24
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 13 Jan 2020
  20. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    11 Jan 2015
    Posts:
    4,175
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    @Someokapinextdoor as far as I can tell, @Chlidonias's interpretation is correct. As mouflon we should consider it O. aries and as a domestic we should consider it ineligible. However, this means that we are considering O. vignei as O. orientalis, which is good news for people based in Berlin :p

    N.B. because my taxonomy is pretty weak I will welcome input on interpreting the IUCN list correctly. Please everyone feel comfortable to speak up if you spot a mistake.

    Edit: @devilfish are you not on 24 now?
     
    Last edited: 12 Jan 2020
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