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As some of you may have gathered, I really like learning about new animals; some of my favorites are:

Badgers, Octopi, Aardvarks, and Akitas

In the spirit of a good challenge with a chance to learn new things, I've created this multi-tier riddle that will give you all a chance to learn something about 5 different animals. To solve this riddle, you'll need patience. Each sub-riddle will be harder than the last; where the final riddle will prove to be difficult indeed as you'll need to get creative, and reflect on what you've learned.

I'll start us off easy with animal number one. Remember that each animal will be harder to find than the last and have fun learning!

Animal #1

I am heard of by many, but encountered by few.

Most humans fear me, but tis I who fear you.

I'm active all summer, and sleep until spring;

When I go and I wait, for food that flies without wings.

Animal #2

Where I am from, it is bitter and cold;

This is one reason, I won't get too old.

My home is a burrow, under the snow;

It's where I stay warm, until I must go.

All through the winter, I wander around;

To gather my food, I must not be found.

An interesting fact, on how I was born;

You used to believe, I came from a storm.

Animal #3

My children drink milk, as all mammals do; but as we get older, we forage for food.

Under the leaves, and into the grass; my species is known, as lightest in class.

Animal #4

There's no where to hide, and no where to run;

I can honestly say, this will be fun.

I'm known for my spots, and confused for another;

The first thing you'll think, is my bigger brother.

Round like a dish, my ears are distinct;

In order to find me, I'll force you to think.

I hope you enjoyed finding the animals above! I learned a few things along my path to creating these riddles, and it took a while to pick the animals I wanted to use.

The Hunt is Coming to an End

You've found all my brethren, this much is true;

T'was one who informed me, from which you need two.

I am as small as can be, but not small like three;

From this animal, six and eleven you need.

You'll need to see two, he has six and four;

And four has seven, but you need one more.

If you can find me, I'm one of a kind;

I resemble two animals, as I even have spines.

I'm one of five in my class, and three are my brothers;

Once we were born, we lived in our mother.

Nearly a year had gone by, but I moved on my own;

To search for a place, forever to roam.

Hint

You're looking quite hard, tis this I can tell; the point being numbers, on which you will dwell. When working with numbers, it may not be seen; that some of these numbers refer back to me.

Note: Though I would prefer for the fifth riddle to be solved with the answer explaining the pattern I hid within it, I will accept an answer that lists all five animals. If the accepted answer does not contain the pattern I used, then I will add my own answer to explain it.

As a final request, I would like to know what you thought of my riddles with your answer; did they make you think? Did you learn anything new? What did you find the most interesting?

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  • $\begingroup$ You are all narrowing down quickly; still waiting on a full answer. I can honestly say, the answers are all here (shared amongst iiiidk and LinuxBlanket); but in this case, the real challenge is solving the fifth riddle. I added a hint to help you all out. $\endgroup$ – Perpetual J Aug 16 '18 at 14:44
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Partial answer;

Riddle 1:

I would assume some species of bear. "I am heard of by many, but encountered by few. Most humans fear me, but tis I who fear you. I'm active all summer, and sleep until spring; When I go and I wait, for food that flies without wings." Bears hibernate and can be frightened quite easily. Wingless food... flying fish? (Through those are ocean creatures and not river food.)

Riddle 2:

A lemming. "Where I am from, it is bitter and cold; This is one reason, I won't get too old. My home is a burrow, under the snow; It's where I stay warm, until I must go. All through the winter, I wander around; To gather my food, I must not be found. An interesting fact, on how I was born; You used to believe, I came from a storm."

Riddle 3:

An Etruscan shrew. "My children drink milk, as all mammals do; but as we get older, we forage for food. Under the leaves, and into the grass; my species is known, as lightest in class."

Riddle 4:

A serval is my first guess,followed by: fishing cat, margay, marbled cat, black-footed cat, and perhaps a cheetah; round ears and spotted body, yet smaller than a leopard. "There's no where to hide, and no where to run; I can honestly say, this will be fun. I'm known for my spots, and confused for another; The first thing you'll think, is my bigger brother. Round like a dish, my ears are distinct; In order to find me, I'll force you to think."

Riddle 5:

building/copied from Linux's answer, using letters idea. Once I get a break at work I'll start cracking down on it!
Linux found "echidna tachyglossus aculeatus."
You've found all my brethren, this much is true; T'was one who informed me, from which you need two. Our first answer, second letter. bear
I am as small as can be, but not small like three; Tachyglossus aculeatus is the smallest of the echidnas
From this animal, six and eleven you need. Etruscan shrew, gives us C and H.
You'll need to see two, he has six and four; "two" (lemming) is holding onto the fourth and sixth letters of "echidna": "i" and "n".
And four has seven, but you need one more. d or a. Since we need two letters from this one and it must be a seven-letter word, it's not serval. I assume we'll need the seventh letter, and the last letter is one we will fill in as a guess to get "echidna". Mostly likely it is a d; leopard? Alternatively, it IS serval, and "four" (serval) is holding onto "seven": echinda.
If you can find me, I'm one of a kind; I resemble two animals, as I even have spines. Echidnas look like anteaters, hedgehogs, porcupines, etc.
I'm one of five in my class, and three are my brothers; there are four species of echidnas and one of platypus in the Monotreme order
Once we were born, we lived in our mother. Echidnas have a pouch
Nearly a year had gone by, but I moved on my own; Puggles will stay within their mother's den for up to a year before leaving
To search for a place, forever to roam.

I would like to know what you thought of my riddles with your answer; did they make you think? Did you learn anything new? What did you find the most interesting?

Some of the riddles have definite "eureka" words, but as you said- the riddles definitely get harder! After submitting first-round answers, they did begin to make you think for new answers. My only critique would be to think about your animal specifically, and what it could be mistaken for. Add details to the riddle to stop those potential answers- that way, an answer is wrong and not not what I was thinking of. I didn't know what the smallest rodent was until now :)

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  • $\begingroup$ 1 holds true, 2 is close, 4 is close. 3 is the only one needing an exact species. $\endgroup$ – Perpetual J Aug 15 '18 at 20:57
  • $\begingroup$ Folding in quick here; nice catch on the rot13(fznyyrfg va pynff). Didn't think someone would catch on to it that quickly. $\endgroup$ – Perpetual J Aug 15 '18 at 21:24
  • $\begingroup$ You're on point with four through one, finding number five will surely be fun! :D Sorry, couldn't resist as it was too easy. :) Glad to have your feedback, I'd say numbers 1, 3 and 5 were the hardest to come up with, though oddly 1 was the easiest to solve (intentionally of course; as most people instantly arrive at rot13(orne)). $\endgroup$ – Perpetual J Aug 15 '18 at 21:48
  • $\begingroup$ On another note, rot13(gur Rgehfpna fuerj vf npghnyyl gur YVTUGRFG znzzny xabja, abg whfg gur fznyyrfg ebqrag). $\endgroup$ – Perpetual J Aug 15 '18 at 21:50
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    $\begingroup$ Aha! I missed this back-and-forth letter count, good intuition and good job! $\endgroup$ – LinuxBlanket Aug 16 '18 at 18:03
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Animal 1

Grizzly bear, which is a shy animal and hunts salmon.

Animal 2

Lemming. Lemmings do not hibernate, are subject to population fluctuations and were believed in the XVI century to be born out of storms. / probably wrong answer

Animal 3

EtrusCan shrew - credits to @iiiidk

Animal 4

?

Final hunt, partly building on iiiidk's answer:

I think that the the animal we're looking for is the echidna Tachyglossus aculeatus. I think that numerical hints refer to the letter to consider in the corresponding animal's name, but I can't provide all the letters.
You've found all my brethren, this much is true;
T'was one who informed me, from which you need two. (bEar)
I am as small as can be, but not small like three; / this echidna is the smallest one
From this animal, six and eleven you need. (etrusCan sHrew, considering space as a character)
You'll need to see two, he has six and four; (___D_I*, so not lemming?)
And four has seven, but you need one more. (______N*)
If you can find me, I'm one of a kind;
I resemble two animals, as I even have spines. / echidnas look both like anteaters and hedgehogs
I'm one of five in my class, and three are my brothers; / there are four species of echidnas and one of platypus in the Monotreme order
Once we were born, we lived in our mother. / echidnas have a pouch
Nearly a year had gone by, but I moved on my own; / Puggles (yes, echidna kids are called like that!) will stay within their mother's den for up to a year before leaving
To search for a place, forever to roam. / bye bye, puggle!

I enjoyed looking for facts to answer this riddle, especially for the last animal!

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    $\begingroup$ If you used my answer can you say so? $\endgroup$ – Duck Aug 15 '18 at 21:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Duck of course, I wrote the answer in a hurry, I'll edit your name in in a bit $\endgroup$ – LinuxBlanket Aug 15 '18 at 21:28
  • $\begingroup$ No, it's fine now I deleted my answer, so you can keep it how it is $\endgroup$ – Duck Aug 15 '18 at 21:29
  • $\begingroup$ Can you break down your answers for Animal 5 to keep them hidden for future readers? I tried to break it down, but it made the post long indeed. I saved the changes in notepad if you don't really care about the appearance, but if you prefer a certain layout then you'll have to edit it. See my comment up top for new updates in regards to your answer. $\endgroup$ – Perpetual J Aug 16 '18 at 14:46
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Partial answer to start

Is animal 1 a

grizzly bear?

I am heard of by many, but encountered by few.

Famous bear, but most don't see them

Most humans fear me, but tis I who fear you.

Bears are afraid of invaders to their territory ie. humans

I'm active all summer, and sleep until spring;

They hibernate

When I go and I wait, for food that flies without wings.

They wait for jumping salmon in the river

Is animal 2 a

Arctic hare?

Where I am from, it is bitter and cold;

true

This is one reason, I won't get too old.

they have short lifespans

My home is a burrow, under the snow;

and live in burrows

It's where I stay warm, until I must go.

true

All through the winter, I wander around;

true

To gather my food, I must not be found.

otherwise they get eaten by polar bears

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ 1 is correct to a point; 2, not quite. You work fast by the way. $\endgroup$ – Perpetual J Aug 15 '18 at 20:47
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    $\begingroup$ El-Guest, I'm surprised you didn't stick around for this one! $\endgroup$ – Perpetual J Aug 16 '18 at 15:09
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    $\begingroup$ @davisj1691, This was my last one last night before going home, I came in this morning and most of everything was solved! It looks like an awesome puzzle, though I'm confused how 4 can have 7 given iiiidk's and LinuxBlanket's correct answers! $\endgroup$ – El-Guest Aug 16 '18 at 15:12
  • $\begingroup$ Take to the hint for the answer you seek there; I can't give it away until someone gives a complete answer (whether they solve it completely or just deduce the correct animal from the given traits). I can guarantee that 4 definitely has 7. $\endgroup$ – Perpetual J Aug 16 '18 at 15:16
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Animal #1

SNAKE.

I am heard of by many, but encountered by few.

Everyone has heard of snakes, but many people never saw one.

Most humans fear me, but tis I who fear you.

Many people are scared of snakes, but many snakes avoid people.

I'm active all summer, and sleep until spring;

Snakes hibernate, at least in temperate countries.

When I go and I wait, for food that flies without wings.

Many snakes hunt by lying in wait for small wingless prey.

Animal #2

Could be an ARCTIC HARE or POLAR BEAR. I can't track down the storm myth for this one.

Animal #3

SHREW?

My children drink milk, as all mammals do; but as we get older, we forage for food.

To be fair, this could cover almost all mammals.

Under the leaves, and into the grass; my species is known, as lightest in class.

Shrews live in leaves and grass, and I believe the Pygmy Shrew is the lightest non-bat mammal.

Animal #4

CHEETAH?

There's no where to hide, and no where to run;

I can honestly say, this will be fun.

Not sure if there's any riddlish content in these lines.

I'm known for my spots, and confused for another;

The first thing you'll think, is my bigger brother.

The leopard is probably the more famous spotted big cat.

Round like a dish, my ears are distinct;

Cheetahs have round ears.

In order to find me, I'll force you to think.

This might be an oblique reference to "cheater".

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  • $\begingroup$ Snakes can be pretty common in some places, and it was said that the answer for that is grizzly bear $\endgroup$ – Duck Aug 15 '18 at 21:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Duck But grizzly bears don't fear humans, do they? $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Aug 15 '18 at 21:13
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe so, but "1 is correct to a point; 2, not quite. You work fast by the way. – davisj1691 25 mins ago" $\endgroup$ – Duck Aug 15 '18 at 21:14
  • $\begingroup$ Meh ........... $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Aug 15 '18 at 21:14
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    $\begingroup$ . I don't think it really matches here: When I go and I wait, for food that flies without wings, snakes don't eat small wingless prey that flies $\endgroup$ – Duck Aug 15 '18 at 21:18
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You all put forth great effort into solving this one, and I'm sure much lateral thinking was needed to solve this. As I stated in my post, I want to give a thorough answer to riddle 5.

The key to riddle number five was:

The numbers that were supplied; and it seems the common ground was being wrapped around all the needed letters coming from the first four animals. While this remained true, I purposefully supplied three letters by exact location (one and three); the other three were implied as they came from echidna, but were present in the referenced animals (two and four).

To break this down:

T'was one who informed me, from which you need two.

This refers to the e in bear.

From this animal, six and eleven you need.

This refers to the c and h in Etruscan Shrew. They are the lightest mammals on earth; with the smallest mammal being the Kitti's Hog-Nosed Bat or more commonly; the bumblebee bat.

You'll need to see two, he has six and four;

This is where the acrostic takes a different turn and begins referring to the letters within Echidna, more specifically the i and n from Lemming.

And four has seven, but you need one more.

Animal #4 is a Serval and holds the a in Echidna; the remaining letter becomes d.

In order to simplify the riddle, I also added some basic information on animal 5; in which:

I resemble two animals, as I even have spines.

In this case, echidnas resemble anteaters and hedgehogs.

I'm one of five in my class, and three are my brothers;

This clue refers to monotremes of which, four are a species of echidna and one is a platypus. These are the only known mammals that lay eggs.

we lived in our mother. Nearly a year had gone by,

Puggles (baby echidnas) remain in their mother's pouch for 50 weeks before they head off to tackle the world.

As an added bonus, the keys to solving the other four animals were:

When I go and I wait, for food that flies without wings.

This refers to the great grizzly bear as it heads off to the Salmon Run.

You used to believe, I came from a storm.

This refers to a theory proposed by Zeigler of Strasbourg; the creatures fell out of the sky during stormy weather.

my species is known, as lightest in class.

This refers to the Etruscan shrew, literally being the lightest mammal on the planet (weighing less than a U.S. dime), where it's class is mammalia.

I'm known for my spots, and confused for another; and Round like a dish, my ears are distinct;

Servals are often confused for cheetah kittens, and their ears are their most distinct feature that sets them apart from the rest of the crowd.

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