Why do armadillos have shells? Why are sloths slow?2 December 2022 - 29 mins
Why do armadillos have shells? How do they roll into balls? Why are sloths so slow? Can sloths actually move fast? How do they defend against predators? Why do they have such long nails? We learn about two unique looking animals in this episode: sloths and armadillos. These mammals are part of an ancient superorder called Xenarthra and share a common ancestor. To get answers to kid questions about armadillos we took a field trip to Texas to talk with Michael Perez at the Forth Worth Nature Center and Refuge. And to learn about sloths, we interviewed Sam Trull of the Sloth Institute in Costa Rica.
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Why do we have blood and what does it do?
Why do people have blood, what is it, and what does it do? How do our bodies make new blood? Is it red or blue? Why does blood taste like metal? And why do we have different blood types? Our listeners have a lot of questions about blood. We learn about blood with UVM Medical Center and Larner College of Medicine pathologist Dr. Sarah Harm. Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript
24 March Finished
How do water slides work?
How do water slides work and how are they built? Why do you have to be a certain age or height to go down a water slide? Where does the water in water parks come from? And which is easier to design and build: a water slide or a roller coaster? First we did a little research of our own at Jay Peak Pump House Water Park. (And by “research” we mean “going down the water slides.”) And to teach us more about what’s actually happening when you take your thrill ride, we talked with water slide engineers Songyi Moon and Kelly Sall at WhiteWater West. Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript
10 March Finished
Carrots give you night vision! And other things adults say
In this episode: part two of parentisms- you know, the things adults like to say that may or may not be true. So many of these sayings have to do with food: Eating carrots will improve your vision. Drinking coffee will make you shorter. Don’t swallow watermelon seeds or they’ll grow in your stomach. We do a little fact checking on this generational eating advice with Dr. Nusheen Ameenuddin of the Mayo Clinic. And we explore a few other sayings you sent us, like why do parents always say, “Next time” when they really mean “No”? And what the heck does it mean to keep your eyes peeled? Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript
24 February Finished
Don’t swallow gum! And other things parents say
We wanted to hear about the conventional wisdom, parenting myths, and downright folksy falsehoods adults pass down to kids, and boy did we get a big response! We heard from over 100 of you about everything from “Don’t swallow gum because it will stay in your stomach forever” to “Slouching will crush your organs” to “If you don’t take a shower after swimming in the pool, your hair will turn green.” In this episode (the first of two), with the help of pediatrician Nusheen Ameenuddin of the Mayo Clinic, we put these “parentisms” to the test! Find out if there’s any truth to the idea that TV will turn your brain to mush, you’ll catch a cold if you go out with wet hair, and it’s dangerous to take a shower during a thunderstorm. Oh, and by the way, this is our 200th episode!!! Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript
10 February Finished
How do axolotls regrow parts of their bodies–including their brains?
In addition to having faces that look like a smiley emoticon, axolotls are as fascinating to scientific researchers as they are to kids because of their amazing ability to regenerate parts of their bodies, including their brains! In this episode we answer kids' questions about these curious salamanders with Dr. Randal Voss, a professor at the University of Kentucky. That lab alone has thousands of axolotls, but these creatures are critically endangered in the wild, where they live exclusively in the depleted and polluted waterways of Mexico City’s Lake Xochimilco. Questions we tackle in this episode: How do axolotls regrow parts of their brains? What did axolotls evolve from? Can axolotls survive out of water? Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript
27 January Finished
Why do bison run fast but walk slowly?
What do bison, moose, Gila monsters, parrots and snails have in common? Well….nothing, except they all appear in this episode! We’re rounding up some of the animal questions you’ve sent us lately. Why do bison walk slow but run fast? What’s the thing hanging down from the neck of a moose? Why do Gila monsters bite? How do parrots talk? Why do snails have slime? Answers from the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance and One Earth Conservation. Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript
13 January Finished