Everything but a Purple Platypus

Here's your nightly math! Just 5 quick minutes of number fun for kids and parents at home. Read a cool fun fact, followed by math riddles at different levels so everyone can jump in. Your kids will love you for it.

Everything but a Purple Platypus

August 14, 2015

Ever wonder what a bluejay, a yellow jacket and a red-tailed hawk have in common? Can you guess? They all have colors in their names. This website posted a list of almost 55,000 animals by the colors that show up in their names the most. The winner was in fact red, at 717 animals; a close second was black, which shows up in 703 names (even though it’s not really a color). White, yellow, blue and silver were the next four in that order. The dimdat folks also figured out that fish are more colorfully named than any other animal family…right off the bat we think of silverfish, blue tangs and goldfish, but many more show off their colors, too. Check out the graph to see just how many animals have some fun in their names!

Wee ones: If the top colors are red, black, white, yellow, blue and silver, how many colors is that?

Little kids: Beyond those 6 colors, how many other colors fill out the top 10?  Bonus: Brown almost tied with silver, with 257 animals vs. silver’s 260. How many more silver animals than brown are there?

Big kids: Black fell short of red by only 14 animals. How many animals have black in their name?  Bonus: If those two groups shared exactly 1 animal — let’s call it the red-and-black striped octopus — how many animals in total would those two groups have?




Wee ones: 6 colors.

Little kids: 4 more colors.  Bonus: 3 more animals.

Big kids: 703 animals.  Bonus: 1419 animals, because they’d have 1,420 if they didn’t share any.

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About the Author

Laura Overdeck

Laura Overdeck

Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking before she could walk, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.

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