Why do moths like night-time?

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Moths, like the one in the photo above, are insects with scaly wings. If you disturb one, you might see what looks like dust falling from its wings but the ‘dust’ will actually be some of the tiny scales dropping off. Like butterflies, they have two pairs of wings and long, rolled-up tongues (probosces) but, unlike butterflies, moths tend to have thick, hairy bodies and their antenna may be feathery and don’t have a ball-shaped ‘club’ at the end.

Many types of moth are ‘nocturnal’, which means that they are active at night but sleep during the day. You might have seen moths in the evening-time when it starts to get dark because they can be attracted to the lights in our houses when they are fluttering about.┬áSo, why do moths like the night-time? And if they like light, why don’t they just come out during the day?

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Can you see my imagination?

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My three-year-old loves imagination play. Her favourite activity is creating stories and role playing with little figures. Sometimes she invites me or her sister to play along, but she gets frustrated if we don’t do it right. A few days ago, when I was clearly playing the game all wrong, she looked at me and sighed and asked “Can you see my imagination, Mummy?”

Unfortunately, I can’t. All I can do is watch as she turns imagination into reality through a game. But her question got me thinking: what is imagination? And how did our brains develop to allow us to be so creative?

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Who had the first idea to build a house?

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Humans like you and me (from the species Homo sapiens) are thought to come from a group of people that lived in Africa between 150,000 and 200,000 years ago. Fossils have helped scientists to work out when Homo sapiens first evolved from other human-like species and how they travelled across the world. But where did the first modern humans live and who had the first idea to build a house?

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Why does cow poo make plants grow?

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Cow poo, cow pats, cow pies or cow dung – whatever you want to call the sloppy stuff that comes out of a cow’s bottom – has been used for hundreds of years to help plants grow. The farmer who lives near us puts it on his crops each year and you know exactly when he’s done it because there’s a stink in the air for days!

But exactly what is it that’s so special about cow poo that makes it good for plants?

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What’s a volcano?

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A volcano is a large rocky structure on the surface of the Earth. Volcanoes look like hills or mountains but they can be quite dangerous because sometimes hot rocks and gases come spilling out from them. When volcanoes ‘erupt’ like this, they can cause lots of damage to things that are nearby.

But why do volcanoes erupt? And how are they made? If we want to understand how volcanoes work, we need to find out more about the structure of our planet, Earth…

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