Can pandas cry, and how many brains does an octopus have? Try our kids’ quiz

·2 min read
  1. Pictured above is a panda. Bea asks: can they cry?

    1. Pandas can cry with their voices but they can’t cry tears

    2. Pandas cry whenever they’re sad

    3. Pandas don’t cry very often unless they run out of bamboo to eat

    4. Some pandas cry and some don’t

  2. Daniel, 7, asks: how long has the Earth been here for?

    1. 4.54bn years

    2. 25m years

    3. 1tn years

    4. 2.33bn years

  3. Penny, 7, asks: what is the scientific name for a foxglove?

    1. Gladioli Foxilis

    2. Foxglovius maximus

    3. Digitalis

    4. Bellis perennis

  4. Buster, 6, asks: do hurricanes always go in the same direction?

    1. Yes, they always spin clockwise, in the opposite direction to the way the Earth spins

    2. Yes, they always spin counterclockwise, in the same direction as the Earth spins

    3. Yes, except for at the equator, where they spin in both directions

    4. No, they spin counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere

  5. Zoe, 7, asks: how many brains does an octopus have?

    1. 8

    2. 9

    3. 1

    4. They don’t have brains


1:A - Pandas cry out with their voices – when they’re hungry, or when a baby is separated from its mother. But they can’t cry emotional tears; humans are the only species that do this. Lots of animals make tears to lubricate their eyes, but it’s not real crying., 2:A - The Earth is 4.54bn years old, give or take a few hundred million. Scientists tell this by working out how old Earth’s oldest rocks are. A really old piece called zircon has been found in Australia., 3:C - Digitalis means “finger-like” and refers to their long flowers. Foxgloves grow in Europe and some of North America. They are poisonous and can cause nausea, headaches and even kidney problems. Bees love them as they’re full of nectar., 4:D - Hurricanes spin opposite ways because of how air currents flow in the northern and southern hemispheres. These are north and south of the equator – an invisible line cutting the Earth in two., 5:B - An octopus has a central brain and a “mini brain” in each arm! These arms can move, touch, taste on their own, but the central brain – which looks like a doughnut – can control them all at once.


  1. 5 and above.

  2. 4 and above.

  3. 3 and above.

  4. 2 and above.

  5. 0 and above.

  6. 1 and above.

Molly Oldfield hosts Everything Under the Sun, a weekly podcast answering children’s questions, out now as a book.

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