This was a simple contest: participants were asked to name as many dinosaur species as they could in one minute. (There were also 5 minute and 15 minute categories, although nobody ever did the 15-minute version!)
This was a written, not oral, challenge, so just writing the names alone took a fair amount of time. Contestants could play as many times as they wished.
The idea was to study dinosaur popularity by finding out how many dinosaurs a normal person knows well enough to know their names. The analysis not only counts how many times a species was named, but where in the list. In other words, in a timed, high-stress environment like this contest, people are going to name the dinosaurs they are most familar with first, and get around to less-familiar dinosaurs later on. For instance, by looking at whether Triceratops tended to be named at the top of the list or at the bottom, we can learn not only how many people put it on their lists, but how quickly it came to their mind in comparison with other dinosaurs on the lists.
It should be noted, incidentally, that what people were really listing were dinosaur genera (Triceratops, Stegosaurus, etc.), not species. I called it Species-a-Rama! because it sounds better, and because most people are more aware of the idea of species than they are of genera. Once I hooked people into playing, I took the opportunity to explain the difference (as well as the difference between, for instance, dinosaurs, pterosaurs, and the various marine reptiles of the time, many of which people put on their list).
Contestants and their results:
|Name||Time Limit||Number of Species|
|Richard A. Kissel||5 minutes*||60|
|Samantha Sands||5 minutes*||33|
|Judy Meighan||5 minutes||8|
|McKinley-Brighton team #1||5 minutes||7|
|McKinley-Brighton team #2||5 minutes||6|
|McKinley-Brighton team #4||5 minutes||6|
|McKinley-Brighton team #3||5 minutes||4|
|Samantha Sands||1 minute||13|
|Wally Kirschler||1 minute||12|
|Minseok (2nd try)||1 minute||9|
|Kevin Wang||1 minute||8|
|David Fleischman||1 minute||6|
|Dan Lukas||1 minute||6|
|Billy Kepner||1 minute||6|
|Minseok (1st try)||1 minute||6|
|Brandon Wilson||1 minute||5|
|Alexander Strauss||1 minute||4|
Think you can beat their scores? You can play Species-a-Rama! yourself by downloading the form here. Make sure to really keep yourself within the time restraints!