Ask A Scientist: A Rhino’s Horn Isn’t for Making Music

Rambunctious Rhino wonders, “Why does the rhino have horns?” Great question, Rambunctious Rhino! There are actually five different species of rhinoceros, but all of them have horns! The Asian species–Javan rhinos, greater one-horned rhinos, and Sumatran rhinos–have one horn on their snout, just above their nose. The African rhinos–the white and black rhino–have two, with…

Ask A Scientist: So many animals!

Wondering Whale asks “How do you decide what animal to study?” Good question, Wondering Whale! Deciding what animal to study depends on a few different things, but one of the first things we can do to help us decide is to think about why we want to study animals. You may have a specific scientific…

Ask A Scientist: Aggressive Hippos

Momo meerkat asks, “Why don’t hippopotamuses let other animals join them in rivers?“ Interesting question, Momo Meerkat! Hippopotamuses are actually pretty aggressive with each other. As a result, other animals, like kudu and impala (both types of African antelope) may avoid the waters when hippopotamuses are around to avoid getting caught in the middle of…

Ask a Scientist: Beetles and Bacteria

Stealthy Shrimp asks, “How do bacteria take over a beetle’s body?“ Great question, Stealthy Shrimp! To answer this question, we should first think about the different relationships bacteria can form with beetles (and with insects in general). Some of these relationships are beneficial for both sides, while other relationships are only beneficial for one side….

Ask a Scientist: Feeling Salty

Mild-mannered Manatee asks, “Why can’t fresh water fish survive in the ocean?” What a great question Mild-mannered Manatee! To answer your question, we need to learn a little bit about osmosis. Osmosis is the movement of water from less salty areas to more salty areas across a membrane. Cells, like the ones in your body,…