Why Did Whales Get So Big?

SCIENCE According to new research, it was only recently in whales’ evolutionary history that they became so enormous. (Smithsonian) Use our activity to size yourself up to a blue whale! Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers Toolkit. Discussion Ideas A new study analyzes the evolution of baleen whales. What are baleen whales? Baleen whales (Mysticeti) are huge, carnivorous … Continue reading Why Did Whales Get So Big?

Suck It, Sponges. Jellies Were the First Animals to Evolve.

SCIENCE Jellies or sponges? No, not the kitchen items—the animals. Maybe you haven’t been debating that last issue for decades, but evolutionary biologists have. Now one group says they’ve got an answer: It’s the jellies. For now. (Popular Science) Where are the jellies on the Tree of Life? Where are the sponges? Discussion Ideas A new study supports the placement of ctenophores, or comb jellies, … Continue reading Suck It, Sponges. Jellies Were the First Animals to Evolve.

Are Mosquitoes Outsmarting Mosquito Nets?

SCIENCE Can something as simple as a treated net change the way mosquitoes actually behave? The answer may be yes. (NOVA Next) Learn more about the science of mosquito nets with our great little study guide. Discussion Ideas New research indicates that mosquitoes may develop behavioral resistance to insecticide-treated nets (ITNs). What are ITNs? Take a look at our study guide for some help. Insecticide-treated … Continue reading Are Mosquitoes Outsmarting Mosquito Nets?

Nature’s Nose Job

SCIENCE New research shows how the width of our nasal passages is literally shaped by the air we breathe. (Smithsonian) Geography can shape cultural characteristics, too. Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers Toolkit, including today’s simple MapMaker Interactive map. Discussion Ideas New research has found some links between the shape of our noses and our geographic ancestry. What … Continue reading Nature’s Nose Job