School of Life Sciences | Ask A Biologist

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Bat Food

Bat Food

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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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

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Collecting Queen Ants

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

queen ants

Collecting Worker Ants

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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

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  • 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)?

Scale Activity Part 1

Scale Activity Part 1

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  • Area: used to describe the surface space of an object. Example: the floor area of your room is 100 square feet if it measures 10 feet by 10 feet... more
  • Magnify: to increase the size of something. Making an object larger by using a tool or instrument such as a magnifying glass or microscope.
  • Simulate: to look like, take the shape of, or sound like something else; imitate.

Scale Activity Part 1

The following activity was presented in the "Tiny Matter" Ask A Biologist Podcast. These are the steps we took to see how big a one inch line would become if it were to be magnified one hundred thousand times and then a billion times. After you follow the activity, try out your math skills with an activity we have outlined at the end.

Facts and Myths

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Facts and Myths

Myths:

  • Vitamins give you energy
  • Some people need very high amounts of vitamins to be healthy
  • Organic vitamins are better than synthetic vitamins
  • The more vitamins, the better
  • You can't get enough vitamins from the foods you eat

vitamin facts illustration

Facts: 

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