Aug 172021
Review: 100 Questions – The Plant and Animal Kingdom
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Title: 100 Questions – The Plant and Animal Kingdom

Publisher: Scholastic

Type: Paperback

Age group: 7+ years

The recommended age would be 7 years+ because it talks about the science behind all the amazing things we see among the plants and animals.

This lovely collection of 100 very unique questions and answers on plant and animal kingdom by RobinAge (the very famous newspaper for children) published by Scholastic is like a goldmine for inquisitive minds. Categorized beautifully into relevant sections like Powerful Plants, Amazing Amphibians, Awesome Aqua life, Birds, Insects, Reptiles and mammals, this pretty much covers the whole flora and fauna.

If you ever wondered why some plants have a hollow trunk, or which plant species existed with dinosaurs or even what the difference between an Indian and African elephant is or why penguins lost their ability to fly, you surely have to read this book.

Why don’t you try keeping some flowers in coloured water and see what happens? The beauty of this book is it explains all this in very simple language but supported with the relevant scientific explanations and terms.

The book has the most unique questions but here are our top 10 favourites:

  • Why does nothing grow under a eucalyptus tree?

– One belief is that eucalyptus plants produce chemicals that are poisonous to the soil but the real reason is that it sucks up all the moisture and nutrients from the soil leaving nothing for other plants and tress to grow.

  • How does water get inside a coconut?

– The water is produced by the coconut itself. It is the liquid endosperm that provides nutrition to the growing embryo. A tender coconut has sweet liquid and thin flesh. As the seed matures, the liquid is converted to hard flesh and water reduces. Coconut water is nature’s way of helping the seed and fruit grow naturally.

  • Why does an octopus’ tentacles never get entangled?

-Their skin produces a chemical that prevents the tentacles to get stuck with each other.

  • What happens to birds that sit on a transmission line?

-Nothing since they are bad conductors of electricity! But if it touches the ground while sitting on the wire, it will die of electrocution.

  • Why do flamingos stand on one leg?

-They are believed to be standing on one leg when they are asleep. An interesting observation states that they are able to support their body weight on one leg without any muscle movement while standing on two legs requires extra energy.  

  • How do ants communicate?

-Oh yes all animals need to communicate. Ants do that through a chemical called pheromone. The tips of the ant’s antennae read the chemical message and know which way to go.

  • Why do ladybugs have spots?

-The spotted colouration of ladybugs actually serves to protect them from other creatures. This colouration called “aposematic colouration” which means “I taste horrible!”, which is true as they produce alkaloids that taste super bad!

  • What happens to giraffes when they sleep?

-We had read they need to keep their legs wide apart in order to bend that long neck to drink water. But what we didn’t realise is that sleeping is not so easy for these beautiful tall animal friend of ours. They have the least sleep requirement for the obvious reason that it is difficult for them to sleep. Adult giraffes sleep standing with their neck and head resting on the back and they sleep for just 30 minutes a night.

  • Which animal can run faster than the cheetah?

-A southern Californian mite called Paratarsotomus and Australian tiger beetle can run faster than cheetah. Yes really! We didn’t know till we read it here.

  • Why do snakes hiss?

-Glottis is an organ located in their throat that they use to breathe. Breathing is usually a noiseless process but the glottis rattles when they forcibly expel air making a hissing sound.

We enjoyed reading this since one question gives a lot of chance to explore and have discussions. There are few other titles in the 100 questions series which am sure would be equally engaging.

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