Prairie Dogs are a group of burrowing rodents best known for their warning call, which sounds similar to the bark of a dog (which is how they got their name). Despite their name, prairie dogs are not a part of the canine family and are instead members of the squirrel . . . Read more
The aardwolf is a small mammal that belongs to the same family as the hyenas. They are very similar in appearance to the striped hyena. However, unlike hyenas the aardwolf does not prey on large animals, instead it eats mostly insects. Their favorite food is termites, which they catch with . . . Read more
Brussels sprouts are probably amongst the most hated vegetables on the planet. Children everywhere dread the sight of these leafy green vegetables on their dinner plate. However, they are rich in a number of important vitamins and minerals and contain a chemical that is believed to have anticancer properties. They . . . Read more
Peas, sometimes known as green peas to distinguish from other foods called peas, are the small green (yellow and purple are also available) seeds that are considered to be a vegetable for cooking purposes. These small seeds grow in pods on the Pisum sativum plant, which is capable of reaching . . . Read more
Strawberries are a small, bright red fruit that are widely loved for their impressive aroma (smell), sweet taste and juicy texture. Strawberries are commonly eaten raw, but may also be used in a variety of culinary preparations such as jams and jellies, pies, ice cream, milkshakes, juice and many more. The strawberry fruit is grown on plants that share the same name. In commercial cultivation most strawberries are grown via a method called plasticulture, in which the plants are grown in raised beds covered in plastic, or in mounded rows. A small proportion of commercial strawberries are grown hydroponically. There are hundreds of varieties of strawberries, but it all started with the first garden strawberry. Let’s find out where this came from.
A meerkat is a small animal that is part of the mongoose family. Also known as the suricate they are very social creatures that live in mobs, gangs or clans of up to 20 meerkats. In the wild meerkats can live for 6-7 years, but in captivity can survive up to 12-14 years. The name meerkat is borrowed from Afrikaans and has a Dutch origin. in Dutch it means” lake cat”, but the name may have originated from a miscommunication. Meerkats are only small and grow to a height of 25 to 35 centimetres (9.8 to 14 in) in total. The meerkat has light coloured fur but their eyes are surrounded by black patches and they have short parallel stripes across their backs in a dark colour.
Cockatoos are a family of birds that are also related to parrots. They are best known for their impressive crests and curved beaks, which are used for eating seeds, fruit, flowers and insects. Some species have some coloration, but in general they are less colorful than other parrots. Many species are popular as pets, but the illegal trade in cockatoos has led to a number of species being listed as endangered. In total there are 21 species of cockatoos and they are all found in a relatively small area of the world. Let’s find out where cockatoos live.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are a professional baseball team that compete in the Central Division of the National League of Major League Baseball. The team was founded in 1882 and joined the American Association the same year. In 1887 the team became a part of the National League and were very successful (they played in the first ever World Series in 1903). The team has won a total of five World Series titles, but recent success has alluded them and in modern times they have struggled to produce a winning season. Let’s find out where the Pirates play their home games.
Dates are the sweet, edible fruit produced by the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera). This tree grows to about 23 m (75 ft) in height with leaves that can reach 6 m (20 ft) long. The fruit is relatively small (about 5 cm long and 3 cm in diameter) and grow in large groups of more than 100 dates. Date palms can be either male or female and the female plant must be pollinated by the male to grow fruit. In commercial crops this is usually done manually and in this way one male date palm can pollinate 100 female plants. Dates can be eaten straight from the tree, but are also commonly used in many sweet and savoury recipes. Let’s find out where this plant originated and where it is grown today.
The Miami Heat are a professional basketball team that compete in the Southeast Division in the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball League (NBA). The team was founded in 1988 as an expansion franchise and a survey was held to choose the name (Vice and Heat were both popular). The team initially struggled in the league, but turned their fortunes around in the mid 90’s to become an extremely strong side. They have achieved ultimate success twice and took home the NBA Championship in 2006 and 2012. The Heat are now one of the most valuable and well supported teams in the NBA. Let’s find out where the Miami Heat play their home games.