How do animals get their names?

cat-tabby

This question about how and why creatures names are chosen started with my 5-year-old’s observation that not all ladybirds are female…

Scientists use a special naming system to identify and group together all living and extinct creatures. This system is called ‘taxonomy’ and it uses a set of rules to make sure that every different type of creature has a unique name.

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Why does the sun rise?

sunrise-morning

To answer this question, we need to remember two things about the Earth: it spins as it orbits the Sun; and it takes one day for the Earth to do one complete spin. This short animation shows how the Earth spins as it orbits the Sun.

One full Earth day lasts 24 hours during which we have some light hours (daytime) and some dark hours (nighttime). Daytime is when the part of the Earth that we live on faces towards the Sun and nighttime is when that part of the Earth faces away from the Sun.

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Why are stars white?

stars

My 5-year-old is fascinated by the night sky and loves to look at the moon and stars. She wants to buy a telescope so that she can see all the stars in space! But she wonders why are all the stars white?

Well, they’re not but you can’t see their colours by looking at them with just your eyes. They are so very far away from Earth that you need to use a telescope to study them in more detail.

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