Daily Science Trivia

Daily Science Trivia can be used as a quick class starter activity. Visit my Trivia Procedure Page page for more information on my trivia procedures! I also have several Trivia To Go sets on several areas of science. More resources and thinking games are available on the Trivia Challenge page at the Kid Zone!

Trivia Topics:
* Scientists & Inventions * Insects* Dinosaurs * Weather *
* Bats * Health * Chemistry* Physics * Astronomy* Earth Science *

Click here for answer keys

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Scientists & Inventions

1. Which of the following scientists studies animals? A. Botanist, B. Zoologist, C. Geologist

2. What does a volcanologist study? A. Constellations, B. Plants, C. Volcanoes

3. Which of the following scientists studies insects? A. Mycologist, B. Ornithologist, C. Entomologist

4. Albert Einstein was a scientist famous for his work on physics. Where was he born? A. Germany, B. United States, C. France

5. Which of the following scientists studies the oceans? A. Oceanographer, B. Astronomer, C. Meteorologist

6. Robert Bakker is a famous paleontologist. What did he study? A. Gorillas, B. Birds, C. Dinosaurs

7. Which of the following animals did Diane Fossey spend her life protecting? A. Bengal Tigers, B. Mountain Gorillas, C. Koalas

8. What does a herpetologist study? A. Insects, B. Birds, C. Reptiles

9. What does a lepidopterist study? A. Beetles, B. Bees and wasps, C. Moths and butterflies

10. Which of the following scientists would study motion, forces, & energy? A. Physicist, B. Chemistry, C. Biologist

11. What do we call the study of solar system and the objects in it? A. Astrology, B. Astronomy, C. Meteorology

12. Which scientist would study rocks and minerals? A. Geologist, B. Botanist, C. Meteorologist

13. Which of the following is NOT a branch of biology? A. Botany, B. Zoology, C. Seismology

14. Which of these machines did Johannes Gutenberg invent? A. Ball point pen, B. Printing press, C. Cotton Gin

15. When was the ENIAC computer turned on for the first time? A. 1936, B. 1946, C. 1956

16. What did Edward Binney and Harold Smith invent in 1903? A. Post-it Notes, B. Scotch Tape, C. Crayola Crayons

17. Which inventor is known for the creation of air conditioning? A. Perry L. Spencer, B. W. H. Carrier, C. Elisha G. Otis

18. Which was invented first? A. Telephone, B. Microwave Oven, C. Light Bulb

19. Who is credited with the discovery of penicillin? A. Dr. Charles Drew, B. Sir Alexander Fleming, C. Dr. Edward Jenner

20. What was invented by Samuel F. B. Morse in 1837? A. Typewriter, B. Telephone, C. Telegraph

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Insect Trivia

1. How many different species (kinds) of insects are there? A. 100,000 B. 500,000 C. 1,000,000

2. What is the official state insect for Illinois? A. Ladybug B. Honey Bee C. Firefly D. Monarch butterfly

3. Which is the largest order (type) of insect? A. Coleoptera (beetles) B. Diptera (flies) C. Lepidoptera (butterflies/moths) D. Orthopetera (grasshoppers/crickets)

4. The Goliath beetle is the largest insect living today. How much does it weigh? A. 2 ounces B. 4 ounces C. 8 ounces

5. The fastest insect is the deer bot fly. What is its fastest speed? A. 45 mph B. 90 mph C. 120 mph

6. Fleas would win a gold medal for jumping at the Insect Olympics. How high can they jump? A. 50 times their body length B. 100 times their body length C. 200 times their body length

7. The winner of the “Strong Man” award for insects goes to the Leaf Beetle. How much weight can it pull? A. 10 times its body weight B. 24 times its body weight C. 43 times its body weight

8. Humans have an estimated 762 distinct muscles. How many muscles can be found in some caterpillars? A. 250 B. 800 C. 1600 D. 4000

9. Which insect has been used to treat baldness? A. Honey bees B. Blister beetles C. Lacewings

10. The largest moth is the Owlet moth of tropical America. What is its wingspan? A. 18 inches B. 24 inches C. 30 inches

11. Insects outnumber all other animals by: a. 2 to 1 b. 3 to 1 c. 4 to 1

12. How many different kinds (species) of insects are there? a. Millions b. Thousands c. Hundreds

13. The biggest insect was a fossil dragonfly with a wingspan of over: a. 6 inches. b. 12 inches. c. 24 inches.

14. The fastest running insect is a(n): a. army ant. b. cockroach. c. stag beetle.

15. Grasshopper can jump: a. 10 times their length. b. 40 times their length c. 80 times their length.

16. The most dangerous insect kills a million people a year. What is it? a. mosquito b. housefly c. army ant

17. Tiny midge insects, called “no-see-ums” can beat their wings more than: a. 10 times a second. b. 100 times a second. c. 1,000 times a second.

18. How many lenses are in a dragonfly’s eye? a. 3,000 b. 30,000 c. 300,000

19. Which insect is honored with a statue in Enterprise, Alabama? a. Boll weevil b. Praying mantis c. Grasshopper

20. Monarch butterflies travel at an average of _____ miles per day during migration. a. 20 b. 40 c. 60

21. Malaria kills over ___________ people throughout the world each year. a. 1million b. 100 million c. 1 billion

22. Of the 26 orders of insects, ______ have appeared on postage stamps. a. 14 b. 20 c. 24

23. Which of the following is NOT considered a true fly? a. House fly b. Bot fly c. Dragonfly d. Horse fly

24. Which of the following is classified as a Lepidoptera? a. Honey bee b. Grasshopper c. Stag beetle d. Monarch butterfly

25.. The largest butterfly, the Queen Alexandra of New Guinea, has a wingspan of ____ inches. a. 6 b. 11 c. 20

26. The caterpillar of the polyphemus moth can eat __________ times its weight at birth in a little less than two months. a. 18,000 b. 42,000 c. 86,000

27. It would take approximately ______________ mosquito bites to drain the blood from an adult. a. 100,000 b. 1,200,000 c. 12,000,000

28. House flies beat their wings at a rate of ______ beats per second. a. 330 b. 520 c. 840

29. The smallest beetle in the world is the feather-winged beetle (Nanosella fungi). It measures about _____ of an inch in length. a. one-thousandth b. one-hundredth c. one-tenth

30. Some diving beetles can stay under water for ____ hours. a. 12 b. 24 c. 36

31. Which beetles were regarded highly in Egypt? a. Stag beetle b. Scarab beetle c. Click beetles

32. Which of the following is NOT classified as a Hymenoptera? a. Honey bee b. Paper wasp c. Cornfield ant d. Firefly

33. The honey bee queen may lay more than _______ eggs a day in the summer. a. 500 b. 1,000 c. 2,000

34. Ants are believed to make up _____ of the total weight of all the animals in the world. a. 10% b. 15% c. 20%

35. The oldest known ant was found in amber dated _____ million years ago. a. 65 b. 100 c. 200

36. Honey bee workers do much traveling to gather nectar to make honey. In order to make a pound of honey, they have to travel a distance equal to going around the world ______. a. once b. twice c. three times

37. Some termites bang their _____ against the walls of the nest to signal danger. a. heads b. legs c. abdomen

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Dinosaur Trivia

1. What do we call a scientist who studies fossils from dinosaurs? A. Geologist B. Archeologist C. Paleontologist

2. Vertebrates are animals with backbones. Which of the following were the earliest known vertebrates? A. Frogs B. Fish C. Snakes

3. What is the age of the oldest known fossils on Earth? A. 1 billion years B. 2.2 billion years C. 3.5 billion years

4. Which type of rock is the best for fossil hunting? A. Igneous B. Sedimentary C. Metamorphic

5. What does the term “dinosaur” mean? A. Terrible lizard B. Giant lizard C. Old lizard

6. During which era did dinosaurs rule the land? A. Precambrian B. Paleozoic C. Mesozoic D. Cenozoic

7. Which term is given to lizard-hipped dinosaurs? A. Saurischians B. Ornithischians

8. Which of the following is the Illinois state fossil? A. Tulley Monster B. Trilobite C. Arthropoda

9. T-Rex is believed to eat its own weight in meat each week. How much did it eat? a. 3 tons b. 5 tons c. 7 tons

10. What does the name T-Rex mean? a. terrible king b. lizard giant c. terrible lizard king

11. Dinosaurs became extinct during the last period of the Mesozoic Era. What is the name of the last period? a. Cretaceous b. Triassic c. Jurassic

12. The award for the most teeth goes to the edmontosaurus. How many teeth did it have? a. 100 b. 1000 c. 1500

13. TRUE or FALSE? Dinosaurs used sounds to communicate.

14. How many chambers could be found in a dinosaur’s heart? a. 2 b. 3 c. 4

15. “Sue”, the most preserved T-Rex fossil ever found, was uncovered in 1990 and is on display at the Field Museum. Where was it found? a. South Dakota b. Montana c. Illinois

16. Out of the following, which was the largest dinosaur? a. tyrannosaurus rex b. giganotosaurus c. brontosaurus

17. How many horns could be found on the head of a triceratops? a. 2 b. 3 c. 4

18. The word fossil comes from the Latin word “fodere”. What does it mean? a. buried in dirt b. ancient feature c. to dig up

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Weather Trivia

1. How hot is lightning? A. 1,000 oF B. 40,000 oF C. 70,000 oF

2. When is the lowest temperature of the day usually observed? A. Midnight B. 3 AM C. Sunrise

3. The strongest winds ever recorded were: A. 127 mph B. 183 mph C. 231 mph

4. Over 80% of all tornadoes occur: A. between noon and midnight. B. between midnight and sunrise. C. between sunrise and noon.

5. The largest hailstone on record was 17.5 inches in circumference. How much did it weigh? A. 2 pounds B. 5 pounds C. 8 pounds

6. If the time between the lightning bolt and thunder is 10 seconds, how far away is the storm? A. 2 miles B. 4 miles C. 6 miles

7. The hottest temperature ever recorded in the United States was 134oF. Where was it? A. Phoenix, Arizona B. Tampa, Florida C. Death Valley, California

8. Which location has the highest normal annual rainfall? A. Yakutat, Alaska B. Blue Canyon, California C. Tallahassee, Florida

9. What was the highest amount of precipitation ever recorded for a year in Peoria, IL? A. 40 inches B. 55 inches C. 70 inches

10. How many tornadoes do we average each year in Illinois? A. 27 B. 42 C. 58

11. Vostok, Antarctica holds record for the coldest temperature on Earth. How cold was it? A. - 97 oF B. -127 oF C. -156 oF

12. The snowiest winter on record for Peoria, IL was in 1978 - 1979. How much snow did Peoria receive? A. 52 inches B. 65 inches C. 73 inches

13. Which of the following means “rain” when added to a cloud’s name? A. Alto B. Nimbus C. Cirrus

14. How often does Peoria, IL have a white Christmas? A. Every year B. Every two years C. Every three years

15. Which of the following is called “a thunderstorm’s worst killer”? A. Lightning B. Tornadoes C. Hailstones

16. If the temperature were 30oF, how many inches of snow will be produced by one inch of precipitation? A. 6 B. 8 C. 10 D. 12

17. Elevation, or altitude, is one of the factors that affect air pressure. Is the air pressure at the top of Mount McKinley, Alaska higher or lower than the air pressure in Havana, IL? Choose: Higher Lower

18. Which instrument is used to measure wind speed? A. Psychrometer B. Anemometer C. Barometer

19. What do the letters NWS represent? A. News, Weather, and Sports B. National Wind System C. National Weather Service

20. If you are increasing in latitude in the Northern Hemisphere, are you traveling: A. East, B. West, C. North, or D. South?

21. Isobars are lines on a weather map. What do they represent? A. Areas of equal temperature B. Areas of equal precipitation C. Areas of equal air pressure

22. If it is winter in Havana, IL, what season is it in Sydney, Australia? A. Spring, B. Summer, C. Fall, or D. Winter

23. What is another term for spring? A. Vernal equinox OR B. Autumnal equinox

24. Which of the following does not belong? A. Red B. Blue C. Black D. Violet

25. Which is hotter? A. 100 degrees Fahrenheit B. 100 degrees Celsius

26. Which of the following is the name for fluffy or lumpy clouds? A. Cirrus B. Stratus C. Cumulus

27. On which continent would you find the windiest spot in the world? A. Antarctica B. North America C. South America

28. Which climate zone do we live in (Illinois)? A. Polar B. Tropical C. Temperate

29. When is a tornado most likely to hit: A. 5:30 am, B. 12:00 noon, or C. 5:30 pm?

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Bat Trivia - An annual Halloween topic!

1. Little brown bats are the most common bats in the United States and Canada. How many night-flying insects can one bat eat in a night? A. 100 B. 800 C. 1200 D 3000

2. Which of the following is TRUE? A. Bats are blind. B. Bats drink blood and eat insects. C. Bats have lived on Earth for at least 50 million years.

3. How long is the wingspan of the largest bat, the flying foxes of Asia? A. 3 feet B. 6 feet C. 10 feet

4. Mexican free-tailed bats are some of the fastest bats in the world. How fast can they fly? A. 30 mph B. 60 mph C. 90 mph

5. How many “fingers” are found on a bat’s wing? A. 2 B. 3 C. 5 D. None

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Health Trivia

1. By the time you are 75 years old, how many years will you have spent sleeping: 17, 23, 37, or 42?

2. Which part of your eye receives no blood at all: the cornea, iris, or retina?

3. How many feet does food travel in the average adult’s digestive tract: 10, 20, or 30 feet?

4. Who has more bones: an adult, a teenager, or a baby?

5. In the month of May, which 10-year-old will grow faster: Tim in the U.S. or Tom in Australia?

6. Every day, 50 gallons of blood are cleaned in your: kidneys, lungs, or liver?

7. If you have a condition called “bromidrosis”, do you have smelly breath, armpits, or feet?

8. About how many sweat glands do you have in your skin: 100,000, 1 million, or 2 million?

9. TRUE or FALSE? No matter how flexible you are, you can’t kiss the tip of your elbow.

10. How many muscles do you use to take a single step forward: 50, 100, 200, or 450?

11. In an average lifetime, does a person have more breaths or heartbeats?

12. TRUE or FALSE? Dead people’s toenails continue to grow.

13. Would you find your philtrum under your nose, tongue, or chin?

14. Does the human bladder hold less or more liquid than a juice box?

15. About how many hours does an adult dream if he sleeps for 7.5 hours: 1.5, 3, or 5 hours?

16. TRUE or FALSE? The left side of your body is controlled by the right side of your brain.

17. Which contains more water: your blood, brain, or skeleton?

18. Which were once eaten as a means of treating tooth aches: worms, spiders, or cockroaches?

19. Which is likely to last longer: a hair on your head or one of your eyelashes?

20. Who is more likely to know if you ate onions before dinner: your aunt or uncle?

21. If you could pile up all the food you’ll eat in a lifetime, how many tons would it weigh: 10, 100, or 1000?

22. When your uvula vibrates are you: snoring, coughing, or burping?

23. If you saved all the skin you shed in a year, would it weigh as much as a tennis ball, baseball, or basketball?

24. Who is most likely to sleepwalk: you, your parents, or your grandparents?

25, When you sneeze, how many miles per hour does the spray shoot out of your nose: 50, 100, or 125 mph?

26. Which lasted longer: the world’s longest sneezing attack or the world’s longest hiccup attack?

27. If all your blood vessels were laid end to end, could they make two circles around the moon, the sun, or the earth?

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Chemistry Trivia

1. What it the name for the process of a liquid changing into a gas? A. Melting B. Vaporization C. Sublimation

2. The atomic number for nickel is 28. How many electrons are found in an atom of nickel? A. 7 B. 14 C. 28

3. Which of the following is not found in the nucleus of an atom? A. Protons B. Neutron C. Electron

4. The formula for carbon dioxide is CO2. How many atoms of oxygen are in one molecule? A. 1 B. 2 C. 4

5. The correct formula for calculating density is: A. mass X volume. B. mass + volume. C. mass volume.

6. The amount of matter in an object is called: A. Volume B. Mass C. Density

7. Does a neutron have a: A. positive charge, B. negative charge, or C. neutral?

8. The amount of space a car takes up is called its: A. mass, B. volume, or C. weight?

9. Is gold considered an element or a compound? A. element or B. compound

10. Is “dry ice” the solid state of: A. carbon dioxide or B. carbon monoxide?

11. Are molecules packed most tightly together in a: A. solid, B. liquid, or C. gas?

12. Which is lighter: A. Cold air or B. Hot air?

13. Which of the following elements has the highest number of electrons? A. Hydrogen B. Magnesium C. Oxygen

14. Which state of matter has neither a definite shape nor a definite volume? A. Solid B. Liquid C. Gas

15. Which of the following is the chemical symbol for sodium? A. K B. Na C. S

16. Does a proton have a: A. positive charge, B. negative charge, or C. no charge?

17. Which common household item is made from the elements sodium and chlorine? A. Flour B. Sugar C. Salt

18. Would a strong acid have a pH closer to: A. 1, B. 7, or C. 14?

19. What do we call an atom that has lost one or more electrons? A. positive ion or B. negative ion

20. Which of the following is the chemical symbol for lead? A. Li B. Ld C. Pb

21. Ice melts into water. Is this a physical change or a chemical change? A. Physical or B. Chemical

22. What do we call the amount of matter in a volleyball? A. volume, B. mass, C. weight

23. Is H2O the chemical formula for: A. water, B. ice, or C. both water and ice?

24. TRUE or FALSE? Carbon is a nonmetallic element.

25. In the chemical formula for methane, CH4, how many carbon atoms are there in one molecule? A. 1 B. 2 C. 4

26. Which does not belong? A. Gold B. Silver C. Pewter D. Lead

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1. Who proposed the law of motion that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction? A. Albert Einstein B. Isaac Newton C. Galileo

2. Which branch of science deals with the study of motion, forces, & energy? A. Physics B. Chemistry C. Astronomy

3. If your speed is measured at 10 knots, are you riding in a: A. bus, B. buggy, or C. boat?

4. Does a strawberry look red because: A. it absorbs red light, or B. it reflects red light?

5. Which law of motion states, “An object in motion will remain in motion and an object at rest will remain at rest unless acted upon by an unbalanced force?” A. 1st Law B. 2nd Law C. 3rd Law

6. Which is the correct way to calculate the speed of an object? A. Distance multiplied by time B. Distance divided by time C. Time divided by distance

7. Which of the following is an example of a lever? A. A knife B. A seesaw C. A wheel

8. The distance between two consecutive crests or troughs on a wave is called the: A. wavelength. B. amplitude. C. frequency.

9. What do we call waves that require a medium: A. electromagnetic waves or B. mechanical waves?

10. The rate of change of velocity is known as: A. momentum. B. speed. C. acceleration.

11. The fixed point on which a lever moves is called: A. fulcrum. B. anchor. C. pivot.

12. What unit is used to measure force? A. kilogram B. newton C. joule

13. Sounds with frequencies above 20,000 hertz are called: A. infrasonic. B. ultrasonic.

14. The type of mirror that resembles the inner surface of a spoon is called: A. concave. B. convex.

15. Whispering creates sounds of about: A. 5 decibels. B. 20 decibels. C. 70 decibels.

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Astronomy Trivia

1. About how long does it take Pluto to orbit the sun: A. 248 days or B. 248 years?

2. If you wanted to view the stars in the night sky, would you use: A. an electron microscope or B. a refracting telescope?

3. What would an astronomer study? A. Rocks and minerals B. Oceans and ocean life C. Stars and planets

4. How many planets orbit our sun? A. 7 B. 8 C. 11

5. How long does it take the Earth to make one rotation on its axis? A. One day B. One month C. One year

6. Which is the largest planet in our solar system? A. Earth B. Mercury C. Mars D. Jupiter

7. Does a waxing moon look thinner or wider as each night goes by? A. Thinner OR B. Wider

8. Which element gives Mars its reddish-orange color? A. carbon B. copper C. iron

9. Which does NOT belong? A. Taurus B. Pegasus C. Aquarius D. Polaris

10. Which planet is known for its rings? A. Mars B. Jupiter C. Saturn

11. Halley’s Comet was seen most recently in 1985-1986. When is it expected to return? A. 2030 B. 2061 C. 2134

12. About how long does it take sunlight to reach the Earth: A. 8 seconds, B. 8 minutes, or C. 8 hours?

13. Of these planets, which is furthest from the sun: A. Earth, B. Mercury, or C. Jupiter?

14. Which of the planets has a year of only 88 days? A. Saturn B. Mercury C. Mars

15. Which term refers to the moon: A. polar, B. solar, C. lunar, or D. stellar?

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Earth Science
Also available ... Thanks to Liz LaRosa for sharing her Earth Science Trivia powerpoint. She uses it as a class starter activity and challenges students to three questions per day. For more class starters, visit my Science Starters page.

1. Are Europe and North America drifting closer together or farther apart? A. Closer B. Farther

2. Which is the largest body of water on Earth? A. Pacific Ocean B. Atlantic Ocean

3. Which does not belong? A. Shale B. Basalt C. Sandstone D. Limestone

4. Mammoth Caves in Kentucky is the longest cave system in the world. How long is it? A. 400 km B. 480 km C. 550 km

5. Which imaginary lines circles the earth below the equator (Southern Hemisphere)? A. Tropic of Cancer B. Tropic of Capricorn

6. How many times a day do high tides occur around the world? A. One B. Two C. Four D. Ten

7. There are about 9 million cubic miles of ice on Earth. Is most of it located near: A. the North pole B. the South pole?

8. On a map, are the lines that run parallel to the equator called: A. lines of longitude or B. lines of latitude?

9. If it is 2:00 pm in Havana, Illinois, what time is it in Los Angeles, California? A. 11:00 am B. Noon C. 1:00 pm D. 2:00 pm

10. Is the water in the ocean colder at the surface or 50 feet below the surface? Choose: At the surface or 50 feet below

11. Olympus Mons is a volcano almost three times as tall as Mount Everest. Is it found on A. Earth, B. Mars, or C. Venus?

12. What percent of the world’s population live in the United States? A. 6% B. 12% C. 18% D. 24%

13. Is Earth the second, third, or fourth planet from the sun? Choose: 2nd, 3rd, or 4th

14. Which formation in a cave rise from the floor: A. stalagmites B. stalactites?

15. When magma cools and hardens, does it form: A. Igneous rock, B. Sedimentary rock, or C. Metamorphic rock?

16. Which is the deepest ocean? A. Atlantic Ocean B. Indian Ocean C. Arctic Ocean D. Pacific Ocean

17. Which of the following is the longest river on Earth? A. Mississippi B. Nile C. Amazon

18. Which of the following is classified as metamorphic rock? A. Basalt B. Marble C. Shale

19. How long does it take the light from the sun to reach us? A. 2 minutes B. 6 minutes C. 8 minutes D. 10 minutes

20. Which of the following is the oldest mountain range on Earth? A. Rockies (in North America) B. Andes (in South America) C. Highlands (in Scotland)

21. Which is larger ? A. Pacific Ocean B. Atlantic Ocean C. Continent of Asia D. Continent of Antarctica

22. Complete this statement: The moon's diameter is ________ the size of Earth's diameter. A. 1/8 B. 1/4 C. 1/2

23. How many degrees does the Earth turn in one day? A. 90o B. 180o C. 360o

24. Two times during the year, the sun is directly over the equator. Are the times called: A. Equinoxes or B. Solstices?

25. Which of the following is the longest mountain range on Earth? A. Andes (in South America) B. Rockies (in North America) C. Great Dividing Range (in Australia)

26. What percent of the people on Earth live north of the Equator? A. 40% B. 60% C. 80%

27. As mountains get older, mountains gradually change shape. How much does a mountain lose every 1000 years? A. 3.5 inches B. 1 foot C. 1 mile

28. In March, Daylight Savings Time begins. Do we: A. set our clocks ahead 1 hour or B. set them back 1 hour?

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