Resources for Kids
Ants Build a Bridge
Ants seem mindless when you look at them individually. But they do amazing things together. With brains that are significantly lighter than humans, army ants communicate with each other using just 10 to 20 signals. Not only do they build intricate and efficient colonies, they also use their bodies to build floating bridges, and bridges suspended in mid-air. This behaviour is called self-assembly. Ant colonies and ant behaviour have a lot to teach us. There’s a whole field of research called Ant Colony Optimization that has implications for circuits and systems, communications, computational intelligence, control systems, and industrial electronics.
How Mosquitoes Use Six Needles to Suck Your Blood
Seen up close, the anatomy of a mosquito bite is terrifying. The most dangerous animal in the world uses six needle-like mouthparts to saw into our skin, tap a blood vessel and sometimes leave a dangerous parting gift.
Scientists have discovered that the mosquito’s mouth, called a proboscis, isn’t just one tiny spear. It’s a sophisticated system of thin needles, each of which pierces the skin, finds blood vessels and makes it easy for mosquitoes to suck blood out of them. They’re so sharp you can barely feel the mosquito biting you.
Termites – The Secrets of Nature
Termites cannot tolerate sunlight; some of them are even blind. However they are one of the world’s most ingenious builders. They build high-risers without any technical devices that are, compared to the Empire State Building in New York, 25 times higher. They are the only animals that have managed to build an air-conditioning system without electricity. Their nests are architectural masterpieces that rise up to eight meters from the ground and dispose brood chambers for larvae, corridors for transportation, fungal gardens for nutrition and even emergency exits for hostile attacks.
Secret Megalopolis of Ants Uncovered
What do subterranean cities of ants look like? 10 tons of cement were required to fill the wholes and tunnels. Then it took weeks to uncover the secret megalopolis of the ants. With the help of mechanical diggers, Brazilian scientists removed tons of earth. At last, the scientists begin to see the structure of the city state.
When Nature Inspires Design
A report on important examples of biology in design, from birds in flight to a new car whose shape was inspired by a box fish.
4 Incredible Technologies Inspired by Nature
Animals are really important to the tech industry. And we’re not just talking about “code monkeys”. Here are 4 awesomely animal-inspired technologies.
Giraffes, Camels, and Geckos – Oh my!
Here are a few examples of biomimicry robots, design, and engineering in space exploration technology.
The Beauty of Pollination
Scenes from “Wings of Life”, a film about the threat to essential pollinators that produce over a third of the food we eat. The dance between flowers and pollinators sustains the fabric of life and is the mystical keystone event where the animal and plant worlds intersect that make the world go round.