Ask Science and Arts Magazine for Kids and Children

Ask Science and Arts Magazine for Kids and Children May/June 2019

Each themed issue of ASK invites newly independent readers to explore the world of science and ideas with topics that really appeal to kids: What makes wind? Where do colors come from? Were pirates real? Filled with lively, well-written articles, vivid graphics, activities, cartoons, and plenty of humor, ASK is science kids demand to read! Grades 3-5

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9 Números

en este número

2 min.
nosy news

Rock-a-Bye, Mousey Babies love being rocked. Even grown-ups like it. What’s more relaxing than a nap in a hammock? Now researchers have found that adult mice also sleep better when they’re rocked. The scientists put mouse cages onto a moving platform during the day. (Mice are nocturnal, so daytime is when they usually snooze.) The platform moved side-to-side with a steady rhythm. By watching the brain activity of the mice, the scientists could see when they were asleep. Mice slept about 12 percent longer when they were being rocked. Researchers think an organ deep inside mouse ears is involved. Normally, this organ helps with balance. So would humans also sleep better in moving beds? More research is needed, but it’s possible. SEAL EEL NOSES ARE A MYSTERY Why does this seal have an eel up…

2 min.
how to make an island

Over the next million years the volcano erupts many times. With every eruption, the island gets bigger. As the lava cools, it becomes black rock. The seed of a mangrove tree floats around the ocean. It washes up and takes root. In time, a mangrove grows. A seabird discovers the island and stops for a rest. She decides to make it her home. Marine iguanas swim from a nearby island. This species has adapted to life on a bare volcano. Long claws grip the slippery rocks. Powerful tails help them swim under water. They graze on algae growing on underwater rocks. The high cone of the volcano stops rainclouds, so rain falls on the island. The wind brings spores of lichens and simple plants called worts. They can live on nothing but rain and…

1 min.
the living rock cycle

Rocks wear down, blow away, dissolve, and get melted down into new rocks—very slowly, over millions of years. And living things play a part in the process. Without living things, Earth’s rocks would look very different. When a volcano erupts, magma oozes out. Magma is melted rock, recycled from deep inside Earth. Cooled magma makes volcanic, or igneous rock. In some places, magma pushes up to the surface, making a volcano. Volcanic rock is full of minerals that plants can use. Wind, rain, and rivers break off bits of rock and carry them away as sand and grit. Bacteria living deep underground ooze acids that dissolve rocks to form caves. Plant roots grow into rocks and help break them up. Plants and animals also make chemicals that change rocks. Deep inside the earth, rocks melt into magma. As…

3 min.
how to become a fossil

120 million years ago, an iguanodon stood on a riverbank, chewing a leaf. It had been raining, and the bank was full of fresh new plants for his breakfast. The rain also turned the hillside above into mud. Some of the mud began to slide, faster and faster, down the hill. And right in the middle of breakfast, Wham! The poor iguanodon was rudely buried under a ton of mud. Sadly, that was the end of the iguanodon. But it was the beginning of a brand new fossil. Under the mud, bacteria and worms nibbled away all the soft bits of the iguanodon’s body. They left a collection of bones and teeth under the muddy river. Like all bones, the iguanodon’s were not completely solid. Each bone was filled with millions of tiny holes—holes…

3 min.
this rock was once alive

Mold Fossils Sometimes creatures leave an imprint of their bodies in mud or sand that hardens to stone. This is how we know about ancient leaves and soft-bodied creatures. True Fossils True fossils are made when minerals (tiny bits of rock) replace the bone over many thousands of years. The result is a bone-shaped rock that is different from the rock around it. Cast Fossils Some fossils form when sand or mud fills a shell or an imprint of a creature. Then the fill turns to stone, leaving a molded shape in the rock. Trace Fossils Dinosaur footprints, animal burrows, and other traces of living things can be preserved in mud that hardens into stone. These are also fossils. Amber Amber is the hardened resin of ancient trees. Sometimes it has insects trapped in it! Petrified Wood Sometimes when ancient trees…

3 min.
oldest living rock tells all

In the shallow water of Shark Bay, Australia, strange rocky columns stick up from the sandy bottom. Shark Bay is named for the 29 species of shark that have been spotted here. But the scientists who visit this remote place don’t come for the sharks. They come to see a far more remarkable creature—rock-making microbes from the dawn of time. The lumpy columns that dot this bay are no ordinary rocks. If you cut one open, it would look like a stack of pancakes, with some green fuzz on the top. That fuzz made the rock. It also made a lot of our air. Meet the cyanobacteriaone of Earth’s most ancient life forms. Cyanobacteria is sometimes called blue-green algae, but it is not algae. It’s a single-celled microbe that lives in the ocean. To…