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,…

Ask a Scientist: Caching

Why do I see some birds take seeds out of the bird feeder but hide them in our garden rather than just eat them?