Ask Science and Arts Magazine for Kids and Children

Ask Science and Arts Magazine for Kids and Children April 2020

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

Hot-Foot Ants A shiny little ant in Africa is the fastest ant in the world, researchers say. It has to be fast to stay alive. The Saharan silver ant lives in the scorching hot desert. During the day, the sand can reach more than 140º F (60º C). Most animals stay out of the sun. But the Saharan silver ant darts across the sand in the middle of the day to look for food. To learn how the ants manage not to overheat, researchers took high-speed video of ants running on sandy paths. They saw that running ants move their legs three at a time: first the middle leg on one side with the front and back legs on the other side, then vice versa. This gait gives them a top speed of…

1 min.
what came before dinosaurs?

Dinosaurs lived long, long ago—250 million to 65 million years in the past. But dinosaurs were not the oldest living things. So what lived before the dinosaurs? Who were their ancestors? If we go back 500 million years, we would find a very different world. Here is a very brief peek at six ages of life before the dinosaurs. Each of these eras lasted a long time, and life changed a lot during each. Ordovician Extinction: At the end of the Ordovician, a period of global cooling and dropping sea levels wiped out about half of ocean species. Devonian extinctions: At the end of the Devonian, rapid changes in climate and less oxygen in the ocean wiped out much animal and plant life, including the placoderms. Permian-Triassic Extinction: The largest mass extinction of all time, possibly…

4 min.
fins and fingers, wings and hooves

Your arms and legs don’t look like wings or fins. But the bones that make up arms and legs, fins, flippers, and wings all follow the same pattern. Why do animals that look very different on the outside look so similar on the inside? They have an ancient story to tell. Animals with similar bone patterns are related. Their bones are similar because they all share a common ancestor, long, long ago. Bones Tell the Tale The key to this mystery lies deep in the past. Long ago, in the Cambrian oceans, one family of swimming worms developed a central nerve down their backs. All animals with backbones, or vertebrates, evolved from this common ancestor. Over time, vertebrates evolved into many kinds of fish. About 400 million years ago, vast oceans full of fish…

2 min.
let’s play

Stump the Scientists ! When paleontologists discover a new fossil plant or animal, they try to figure out where it fits into the tree of life, and also how it lived. Sometimes this is a piece of cake, especially when the fossil is similar to a living creature. There are ancient fossil clams, for instance, that are a lot like living clams. In this case, it’s clear that they are related. Since that is not nearly exciting enough, we have invited a bunch of utterly strange creatures from long before the dinosaurs to join us and tell us how they stumped the experts. Crazy Cambrians Freaky Fish In the Silurian Period and in the beginning of the next period, the Devonian, fish without jaws were common. They had armored heads that evolved into some very…

4 min.
i am not a dinosaur

Do you have a pterodactyl? Or one of those Loch Ness Monster creatures called a plesiosaur? Or how about a dimetrodon, with its majestic sail rising from its back? Well, guess what? Not one of these is actually a dinosaur. What Makes an Animal a Dinosaur? Dinosaurs are an ancient group of animals that first appeared about 240 million years ago. All dinosaurs share a common ancestor and are alike in some important ways. Members of the dinosaur family have bones, walk on land, and have hips that put their legs directly below their bodies, not splayed to the side like a lizard. Dinosaurs also had two holes in their skulls behind their eyes. Plesiosaurs and pterodactyls lived at the same time as the dinosaurs. But their families split off from the dinosaurs early…

3 min.
the secret of my success

Hello! Wait! Don’t run away. Yes, I know I am a cockroach.SO, what’s wrong with that? You are speaking to the most successful species on the planet, you know! We’ve been around for 350 million years! Survived five mass extinctions! Dinosaurs, gone. Trilobites, gone. Dodos, gone. But WE’RE STILL HERE. So what’s the secret of our success? Be small! Run fast! Eat anything! Lay lots of eggs! Let me show you how it’s done. It all started a long, long time ago. The venerable family of Roach has been crawling around since at least the Devonian. By the Carboniferous era, half the insects on earth were roaches! Some people call the Carboniferous the Age of Coal, but around here it’s known as the Age of Roaches. Sure, we’ve had plenty of enemies. If you’re small and…