Adaptation | Blogs
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Do Sea Urchins Have Eyes?
Have you ever see a sea urchin? The word sea urchin comes from the Old English word that means spiny hedgehog -- that is a pretty good description! It looks like a plant, but it's not one. It is an animal, specifically an invertibrate, that lives in salt water. An invertibrate is an animal without a backbone. If you look closely, you will see that it does not have any eyes. So how does it see? Image from University of Gothenburg Scientists have found that sea urchins have light-senstive receptor cells that act like retinas. These cells are found in sea urchins feet and among their 1,400 spines. Essentially, the sea urchin itself acts...
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Anthias: The Fish That Can Change Gender
We were at the Shedd Aquarium and came across a tank of beautifully colored fish called anthias and were intrigued by the caption that said "...these colorful fish have the ability to change sex". We were determined to learn more! Anthias are rather small fish (1 1/2 to 5 inches long) that sport a wide range of colors including orange, pink, purple and green. They live in tropical oceans and seas around coral reefs. Anthias eat zooplankton, microscopic animals that float in the water. Anthias were named by Carl Linneaus back in 1758. Linneaus was an important person in the history of science as he was the Swedish botanist known...
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Here Is Our Top Ten List of Science Facts Learned This Year!
Click on each item to learn more: 1. Has Luke’s Home Planet Tatooine Been Found? 2. What Is The Higgs Boson and Why Is Everyone Looking For It? 3. The Universe is Getting Bigger 4. Why Do Seahorses Look Like Horses? 5. Angolatitan Admastor Dinosaur – Eaten by Sharks? 6. I’m Atoms (Scientific Cover of Jason Mraz’s I’m Yours) 7. How To Name An Element After Yourself 8. Do Bees Have GPS? 9. Why Did The Three Kings Give Jesus Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh? 10. Where in the Solar System is Ceres? Happy New Year!
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Do bees have GPS?
Did you ever wonder how bees always find honey? They tell each other. And no, bees do not have voices to speak with. They communicate with each other by doing a little dance. After a bee finds a flower with pollen, it returns to the hive. There, it dances for the other bees. The orientation of the dance describes the angle to travel away from the sun. The length of the dance communicates how long it will take to fly to the flowers. There is a great video created by researchers at Georgia Tech here that shows how the bees do their waggle dance.
Friday, February 18, 2011
It is that time of year in Chicago – the skunks are coming out, we can smell them! The last two years in a row, our little white dog was skunked in February. I am hoping we avoid the smelly hat trick this year. Have you ever smelled a skunk? They smell like a mixture of rotten eggs, burnt rubber and garlic. So, why do skunks smell? Skunks spray as a defensive mechanism. Skunks release a fluid from two scent glands on their backsides. The spray can fly through the air from five to sixteen feet! For example, when my little white dog goes up to a skunk and wants to play with it, (see picture...
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Why do kangaroos carry their babies in a pouch?
Joeys (the name for a baby kangaroo) are born at a very young age and are about the size of jelly bean. At birth, they crawl up the mother’s body and enter a pouch where they attach to a teat to feed. As it grows, the joey begins to spend more time outside of the pouch and fully leaves the pouch of its mother at about 7 to 10 months of age. Kangaroos are marsupials – meaning that they give birth to very young babies that cannot survive outside their mothers. Koalas and opossums are also marsupials and have pouches. There are 47 different types of kangaroos including Wallabies (the smallest) and the Red Kangaroo...
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