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What are snakes? Evolution and biology

By |2018-04-15T00:32:41+00:00September 16th, 2017|Biology|

Two pythons Snakes evolved from lizards only about 150 million years ago, during the Jurassic Period. This is during the time of the dinosaurs, about the same time that the first birds evolved from small dinosaurs. Like birds and mammals, though, snakes really began to take over after most of the dinosaurs died about 95 million years ago, at [...]

What are llamas? South American animals

By |2018-04-12T08:53:21+00:00September 8th, 2017|Environment, South America|

A llama in Bolivia Llamas evolved from camels. Camels evolved in North America about 45 million years ago. They lived in the Rocky Mountains and all across the southern part of North America. While they were still in North America, some camels evolved into llamas. Llamas spread from there south into South America about 3 million years ago. [...]

European science in the 1800s

By |2018-04-16T10:32:30+00:00August 7th, 2017|Modern Europe, Science|

European boys at school in the 1800s In the first half of the 1800s AD, countries in northern Europe like France and Britain forced India, Ghana, Nigeria, Canada, and other countries to give them food. That meant that many people in northern Europe could stop farming and get an education. Families sent more boys to school than girls, so most of the educated people were [...]

Jesuits after 1700 – History of religion

By |2018-04-08T21:33:36+00:00August 7th, 2017|Modern Europe, Religion|

Jesuit teachers in Brazil By the 1700s AD, the Jesuits owned a lot of farms and mines in countries all over the world. The governments of these countries started to worry that the Jesuits were too powerful. Also, the governments wanted to get their hands on all the money the Jesuits were making. The Enlightenment was making a [...]

David Hume – European philosophy

By |2018-04-24T09:15:54+00:00August 6th, 2017|Modern Europe, Philosophy|

David Hume, the European philosopher Soon after Hobbes and Locke died, starting in 1739 AD, David Hume published more important books about philosophy. Hume disagreed with Descartes' idea that people did what their reason or logic told them was best. Hume thought people were more likely to just do what they wanted, even if they knew it was wrong [...]

Quick summary of geological eras

By |2018-04-21T11:56:38+00:00June 24th, 2017|Geology, History|

Fossil spider from the Cretaceous era Geologists divide the history of the Earth into eons and eras. That's so they don't have to always be saying "400 million years ago" or whatever. The earliest period was the Hadean Eon. The Hadean Era started when the Earth formed about 4.5 billion years ago. It lasted [...]

What is a protein? Organic chemistry

By |2017-06-02T23:46:07+00:00June 2nd, 2017|Biology, Chemistry|

Proteins are a type of molecule made mainly out of hydrogen and carbon atoms. They are combinations of smaller molecules called amino acids. The first amino acids probably developed into proteins more than four billion years ago on Earth, possibly with the help of ribonucleic acid, or RNA. We don't know whether this process has happened on [...]

What is a virus? Evolution and biology

By |2017-05-30T10:58:32+00:00May 30th, 2017|Biology|

The virus that causes AIDS (greatly magnified) HIV image copyright Russell Knightley Nobody is quite sure whether viruses are living things or not. The first living things may have come from viruses. But it's also possible that viruses evolved from living cells and got gradually less complex and more dependent on their hosts to live. [...]

Flowering plants – Evolution and Biology

By |2017-05-30T09:44:04+00:00May 30th, 2017|Biology|

Lavender flowers smell wonderful! For millions of years, the Earth was covered with ferns and pine trees and moss and mushrooms, without any flowers, grass, or fruit. But about 120 million years ago, in the Cretaceous period, some of these pine trees developed a new way to scatter their seeds that turned out to [...]

What is seaweed? Plant evolution and biology

By |2018-04-16T10:36:48+00:00May 30th, 2017|Biology|

Seaweed in the ocean For the first two billion years of life on Earth, there were only one-celled creatures. But after early eukaryote cells started to reproduce by meiosis in addition to mitosis, about 1.4 billion years ago, they were able to evolve faster by mixing up their DNA with the DNA from other cells. They [...]