Science of the Hawaiian Islands

1. d) Red is at the top of a rainbow.

2. c) The Hawaiian hotspot is thought to have been erupting for over 70 million years, forming the nearly 4,000-mile-long Hawaiian-Emperor Chain.

3. d) Lō‘ihi Seamount continues to erupt and grow.

4. c) Pahoehoe is ropy and smoother than ‘a‘a, which may be sharp and jagged.

5. c) Iniki destroyed many buildings on Kaua‘i.

6. b) Kīlauea Volcano has been erupting almost continuously since 1983.

7. a) A deposit of turtle eggs is known as a clutch, and a female turtle during nesting may lay and bury up to six clutches along the beach over a several week period.

8. c) Many major tsunamis have struck the coastlines of the Hawaiian Islands.

9. d) Operated by 11 different countries, 12 major observatories explore the sky from Mauna Kea.

10. c) Dolphins also use echolocation to stun their prey.

11. d) Over 90% of native Hawaiian plants and animals are endemic.

12. b) Kīlauea Volcano erupted 48% of the time during the last century.

13. b) The Aleutian Islands are very seismically active.

14. d) Over 3 billion dollars in property damage occurred, including damage to over 70% of Kauai‘s homes.

15. c) 5 million years old. Kaua‘i is the oldest of the 8 main Hawaiian Islands.

16. c) The Keck Telescopes are jointly operated by the University of California, NASA, and the University of Hawai‘i.

17. b) The East Rift Zone includes the highly active Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō Crater.

18. c) Halema‘uma‘u Crater is 3,000 feet across and about 280 feet deep.

19. a) Avian malaria and avian pox have decimated bird populations, along with habitat destruction, predation by domestic animals, mongoose, and competition with introduced species.

20. d) The geographic isolation of the Hawaiian Islands has led to the evolution of many species found nowhere else on Earth.

21. c) Mauna Loa rises 13,677 above sea level.

22. c) The highest point of a wave is called the crest.

23. a) Hōkūpa‘a is the Hawaiian term for the North Star.

24. b) Brocken specter is the name of the phenomenon.

25. d) An estimated 1,000 tons per day of sulfur dioxide is emitted by Kīlauea Volcano.

26. a) South Kona is likely to be affected by the Vog, which accumulates in the lee of Mauna Loa.

27. d) The Big Island. A localized tsunami was caused by earthquakes and a landslide.

28. b) Hurricane Dot hit Kaua‘i in 1959.

29. a) Violet is on the top and red is on the bottom.

30. b) A double rainbow is caused by a double reflection within the drops.

31. d) Breaching has no known link to digestion of food.

32. Ring of Fire is the term used to describe the great circle of volcanoes around the outer edges of the Pacific Ocean.

33. b) The Pacific Plate is moving northwest about 3.5 inches per year.

34. a) Pu‘u Ō‘ō Crater’s lava has also killed several people.

35. c) Mauna Loa covered over 18 square miles when it erupted in 1984.

36. c) Haleakalā Volcano’s summit crater is a moonscape of cinder cones.

37. a) Archaea are found at Lō‘ihi’s deep sea vents.

38. c) Helium isotope ratios have revealed that the chemical composition may hold clues to Earth’s origins.

39. d) 50 to 300 miles is typical wavelength for a tsunami.

40. c) 500 miles per hour. The deeper the ocean, the faster the tsunami travels, and the Pacific is the deepest of the world’s oceans.

41. d) Hurricane Estelle caused 2 million dollars of damage.

42. b) Infrared. The telescopes atop Mauna Kea analyze many portions of the light spectrum.

43. c) Green darners are also larger than any dragonflies of the continental United States.

44. d) Geothermal energy production on the Big Island is opposed by many residents.

45. c) Fluke is the term for the tail of the whale.

46. d) They are all types of Hawaiian shells.

47. b) Brownling is not the name of a bird found in the Hawaiian Islands (or any bird!)

48. d) A group of dolphins is referred to as a pod.

49. c) 35. At least 30 have become extinct, and many others are currently rare of endangered with 6 of these quite likely extinct.

50. d) About 35 species of birds became extinct before Western contact, including over 20 species of flightless birds, such as the large moa nalo.

51. d) Lava tubes are formed when the lava drains out from the hardened crust.

52. b) Monk seals spend about one third of their time resting on the beach.

53. c) Coral is considered the first good foreign substance that human blood vessels can penetrate, and that the body accepts.

54. a) In 1992, only 12 ‘alalā remained in the wild.

55. d) Molten earth is called magma beneath the Earth’s crust, and lava once it erupts.

56. b) An atoll is a small, crescent or ring-shaped island covered or surrounded by coral reef.

57. c) Tiltmeters are used to measure expansion and contraction on different portions of a volcano.

58. d) A guyot is an atoll sunken beneath the surface, the last stage in the erosion of a volcanic peak.

59. a) Thomas Jagger founded the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

60. d) Global Positioning System devices have allowed Kīlauea to be studied more than any previous eruption.

61. a) The monarch’s tongue is known as a proboscis.

62. c) Tuff cones are lava eruptions that occur long after the main volcano ceases erupting.

63. b) Shield volcanoes got their name due to their broad, sloping shapes, similar to a warriors shield.

64. a) The village of Ho‘okena Mauka was wiped out by lava flows in 1950.

65. c) Leptospirosis. Do not drink untreated stream water, or swim with open cuts.

66. b) Adaptive radiation, also known as evolutionary divergence, occurs when a species adapts to different food sources and habitats, and over many generations evolves into unique species.

67. a) Only about 30 wild nēnē were left in 1951, due to predatory animals, habitat destruction, hunting and egg collecting.

68. b) There are 3 species of Spiny lobster in the Hawaiian Islands, along with over 5 species of Slipper lobsters, and 3 species of Red Reef lobster.

69. c) Finger coral. A finger coral reef spanned from Diamond Head to beyond the Honolulu Airport.

70. b) The Crown-of-Thorns sea star is covered with venomous spines

71. c) Fringing reefs are structural reefs that form just offshore of islands.

72. b) Magnetite is the metalloid substance found near the frontal lobe of the humpback whale’s brain.

73. b) The Hawaiian bat is nocturnal.

74. b) William Bligh is thought to have made the first maps of the Hawaiian Islands by westerners.

75. d) The skeleton hanging in the Bishop Museum is a sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus).


Science of the Hawaiian Islands

Advanced Questions

1. a) Kipuka support many unique species.

2. d) Dispersion caused by drops of water in the atmosphere creates rainbows.

3. d) 100,000 tiny hairs, each 1/10th as thick as a human hair, and each split into hundreds of spatula-shaped tips that allow the gecko to walk upside-down on the ceiling.

4. d) Adaptive optics has resulted in the clearest pictures ever of Neptune, as well as orbits of stars around what is through to be a Black Hole at the center of our Milky Way Galaxy.

5. d) Radiocarbon dating recently revealed that the ‘Aila‘u flow occurred between 1410 and 1470.

6. a) The scales are called denticles, and were sometimes used as sandpaper by ancient Hawaiians.

7. c) Haleakalā released 22 square miles of lava in 1790 (that’s nearly 1 billion cubic feet!).

8. b) At 74 m.p.h. a tropical storm becomes a hurricane.

9. a) We see red when the angle is 42 degrees, and violet when the angle is 40 degrees, and other colors from other degrees, which is why what we see is a rainbow.

10. c) Kīlauea Volcano has covered over 500 square miles with lava in the last 1,100 years.

11. a) Anaphylactic shock is an extreme reaction caused by stings.

12. b) Mauna Loa has a volume of about 10,000 cubic miles.

13. a) Nematocysts of box jellyfish have fishhook-like spines that inject venom.

14. c) Laysan albatross were tracked via satellite.

15. d) Puaiohi have been and continue to be raised in captivity to help the species survive.

16. a) Pelage is the term for the coat of a monk seal.

17. b) Carapace is the term for a sea turtle’s shell.

18. d) Lō‘ihi remains very active as it grows toward becoming the next Hawaiian Island.

19. b) Each weather buoy is about 20 feet long and 14,000 pounds.

20. b) A wave’s energy reaches to a depth equal to about half the wavelength.

21. b) Box jellyfish are known to arrive 8 to 10 days after the full moon.

22. a) Ka‘imikai O Kanaloa is the name of the research boat.

23. c) The Pacific Tsunami Museum is a great place to learn about tsunamis.

24. c) Hurricane Nina hit Kaua‘i in 1957.

25. c) The segmented mirror is 10 meters in diameter.

26. d) The mirror segments are adjusted twice each second to an accuracy of 4 nanometers.

27. a) Plastron is the term for the underside of the sea turtle.

28. b) Chile is 6,600 miles from the Hawaiian Islands. The earthquake also killed over 1,000 people in Chile.

29. c) Chemosynthesis utilizes only heat and chemicals to produce many species.

30. b) 9 to 30 minutes. The 1946 tsunami had a 15 minute period.

31. c) Tail fluke photographing and identification have provided great insight into whale populations.

32. b) ‘Ie‘ie, ‘ōhelo, and manono are all Hawaiian plants.

33. b) Footprints of Hawaiian warriors are preserved in ash from an eruption in 1790.

34. c) Cerebral cortex. Bottlenose have a cerebral cortex more convoluted (folded) than humans, meaning it has a greater surface area, though it is thinner.

35. c) Monk seals are Pinnipeds, (which means “fin footed”). The Pinnipeds also include walruses, seals, and sea lions.

36. d) Sea turtle eggs incubate for about 2 months before hatching.

37. a) Land turtles began venturing back into the ocean at least 200 million years ago, according to the fossil record.

38. d) 87,576 sharks were caught, and of these about 50,000 were finned, and then the rest of the shark was thrown back into the sea. A delicacy to some, the fins sell for between $18 and $70 per pound.

39. d) ‘Alalā prefer mixed koa-‘ōhi‘a forest, and their only remaining habitat is in south Kona on the Big Island.

40. d) Mice. The University of Hawai‘i is at the forefront of cloning research.

41. d) The rare carnivorous caterpillars grasp insects with stubby claws.

42. b) The lava flows were bombed by aircraft in an unsuccessful attempt to redirect the lava flows.

43. d) Pulmonary edema caused by inhaling steam caused their lungs to fill up with fluid, preventing their hearts from pumping blood fast enough.

44. b) The humpback whale’s Class is Mammalia, its Order is Cetacea, SubOrder Mysticeti, Family Balaenopteridae, Genus Megaptera, and Species Novaeangliae.

45. a) Megaptera means “Big winged,” and Novaeangliae means “New England.”

46. b) The octopus is one of the most intelligent of all the reef animals.

47. c) Sea urchins sometimes graze algae during the day, but more commonly the feed on the algae in the evening.

48. c) The calices are the skeletal cups that make up the coral colonies. (Say that 5 times fast!)

49. a) Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater erupted and collapsed, coating the surrounding area with a kind of volcanic rust.

50. b) Butterflyfish. Other Hawaiian species of butterflyfish include Threadfin, Multiband, Ornate, Chevron, Teardrop, and Tinker’s.