School of Life Sciences | Ask A Biologist

Why is Rudolp's nose red?

Rabies

Rabies

show/hide words to know

  • Fatal: causes death.
  • Mammal: warm-blooded animal with fur.
  • Saliva: spit.
  • Virus: a super tiny germ that you can only see with a microscope. Viruses need a host in order to reproduce... more

Rabies

Many people think that all bats have rabies. This is simply not true. While bats can contract the rabies virus, very few do. In fact, less than 1/2 of 1% of bats have rabies.

What Exactly is Rabies?

Rabies is a disease that affects the nervous system and the brain. Rabies is a type of virus. The most common way to get the rabies virus is if a rabid animal bites you. Any mammal can contract rabies including dogs, cats, raccoons, foxes, skunks, coyotes, bats, and even humans.

Echolocation

Echolocation

show/hide words to know

  • Echo: the returning sound wave after it hits an object
  • Electromagnetic: related to electric or magnetic fields
  • Navigate: to find your way.
  • Sound wave: sound that humans cannot see that travels through space
  • Ultrasonic: sounds that humans cannot hear.

What is Echolocation?

Echolocation is the use of sound waves and echoes to determine where objects are in space. Bats use echolocation to navigate and find food in the dark. To echolocate, bats send out sound waves from their mouth or nose. When the sound waves hit an object they produce echoes. The echo bounces off the object and returns to the bats ears. Bats listen to the echoes to figure out where the object is, how big it is, and its shape.

Bat Food

Bat Food

show/hide words to know

  • Colony: a group of the same kind (species) of plants or animals living together... more
  • Insectivore: an animal that mainly eats insects... more

What Do Bats Eat?

With close to 1000 different types of bats, it shouldn't be surprising that bats eat a lot of different types of food. They are also great hunters able to locate the faintest sounds and smallest movement. So what do bats eat?

Human, Bird, and Bat Bone Comparison

Human, Bird, and Bat Bone Comparison

show/hide words to know

  • Common ancestor: a single species that gave rise to at least two other species.
  • Density: the measure of mass per unit of volume. Think of it as how solid something is. If you have two equal size objects, the one with the higher density would weigh more.
  • Mammal: warm-blooded animal with fur.
  • Mass: is used to describe how much matter is in an object. If you know the number of atoms, the density of the atoms, and what type of atoms are in an object you can calculate its mass.

Human, Bird, and Bat Bone Comparison

From the outside human arms, bird wings, and bats wings look very different. Humans are covered in skin, birds are covered in feathers, and bats are covered in hair. But on the inside there are many similarities among human, bird, and bat forearms. Did you know that humans, birds, and bats have the exact same types of bones in their forearm? These organisms share the same forearm bones because they all evolved from a common ancestor.

What Ants to Look For

What Ants to Look For

show/hide words to know

  • Diverse: having a great deal of variety. Showing a wide range of different qualities.

What Ants to Look For

Many people think there are only two kinds of ants, red ants and black ants. But boy are they wrong! Ants are a great example of diversity: all of the different species come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, they all behave differently, and they eat different things and live in different places. To help you learn about the different shapes and sizes of ants, we have a cool article on ant heads.

Tips and Tricks

collecting ants subheader image

Tips and Tricks

Ant Wrangling: Tips and Tricks

One of the trickiest parts of working with ants is getting them to stay where you want them, or moving them somewhere else without ants going everywhere. Here are a couple of tricks to keep ants where you’d like them to be:

check for holes1. Check containers carefully for holes: Ants are very good at finding even tiny holes and will use them to their advantage!

 

 

 

Collecting Queen Ants

collecting ants subheader image

Collecting Queen Ants

Flying Ants: Collecting ant queens to start a brand-new colony

queen ants

Collecting Worker Ants

collecting ants subheader image

Collecting Worker Ants

Collecting Worker Ants

Although there are some companies that will sell worker ants for your farm, it’s even more fun to collect them yourself from the different kinds of places where ants like to build their homes.

stinger vs. no stinger

Build an Ant Farm

Building an ant farm illustration

Build an Ant Farm

By Rebecca Clark
Illustrated by Sabine Deviche

Materials

Scale Activity Part 2

Scale Activity Part 2

show/hide words to know

  • Meter: a unit of length equal to 100 centimeters or 39.37 inches. A meter is also about the same length as a yard.
  • Millimeter: a unit of length that is one thousandth the size of a meter, and one tenth size of a centimeter.
  • Simulate: to look like, take the shape of, or sound like something else; imitate.

Scale Activity Part 2

Now that we know how large a one inch line becomes when we magnify it one hundred thousand times (100,000 X), what would happen if we magnify the same line a billion times (1,000,000,000 X)?

Share to Google Classroom

dropdown arrow downdropdown arrow up  Learn More

Share to Google Classroom