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Seeds of the Future
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Ultrasonic Frogs Raise the Pitch
Roach Love Songs
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Memory by Hypnosis
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Small but WISE
The Taste of Bubbles
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Shrinking Glaciers
Earth Rocks On
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A Vulture's Hidden Enemy
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Words of the Distant Past
A Long Haul
Prehistoric Trips to the Dentist
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A Pepper Part that Burns Fat
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Who vs. That vs. Which
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Scotiabank Jamaica Foundation Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) Scholarships
How are students placed after passing the GSAT exam
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GSAT Scholarship
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
GSAT Mathematics
Math Naturals
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Math of the World
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Spitting Up Blobs to Get Around
Flu Patrol
A Sour Taste in Your Mouth
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Tasmanian Devil
Elk
Killer Whales
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The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Physics
Spin, Splat, and Scramble
Dreams of Floating in Space
IceCube Science
Plants
Seeds of the Future
City Trees Beat Country Trees
Fastest Plant on Earth
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Space and Astronomy
Melting Snow on Mars
Phantom Energy and the Big Rip
Tossing Out a Black Hole Life Preserver
Technology and Engineering
Riding Sunlight
Weaving with Light
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
The Parts of Speech
What is a Preposition?
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
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Transportation
Revving Up Green Machines
Middle school science adventures
Ready, unplug, drive
Weather
The solar system's biggest junkyard
Science loses out when ice caps melt
Antarctica warms, which threatens penguins
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Early Birds Ready to Rumble

Who needs parents? Not some prehistoric baby birds! Baby birds living in the age of dinosaurs might not have been as helpless as are songbird nestlings today, who constantly call out for their parents. Instead, some of these ancient youngsters were born with strong bones and well-developed feathers, according to a team of Chinese scientists. The Chinese paleontologists found a 121-million-year-old fossil of a bird that was curled up tightly. The bird's feet were tucked under its beak, and it had a wing resting behind its head. The bird's bones were squished up in an egg-shaped space. And the baby appeared frozen in the same position that a modern-day chick would find itself just before it cracked open its shell. The scientists concluded that their specimen was a bird embryo, fossilized before it could hatch. The researchers couldn't tell the bird's species. But the baby bird did have some unusual features. Its feathers were almost fully formed. Its bones were hard and relatively strong. It had a large skull. These traits suggest that the bird could have moved around and caught its own food soon after it popped out of its egg, the scientists say. Nowadays, many types of baby birds stay in the nest for at least a couple of days and are completely dependent on their parents for food and protection. They're often covered by soft, fuzzy down, which makes them very cute but doesn't do much for their flying abilities. Fossils of 75-million-year-old bird embryos that were found previously didn't show signs of well-formed feathers either. The Chinese researchers say that, as birds evolved, chicks became more dependent on their parents. But it's also possible that the later fossils were of embryos before they had had time to develop feathers. Or the feathers simply weren't preserved. Still, the fossil found in China hints that baby birds have changed a lot in the last 120 million years. Being able to fend for itself right after hatching would make that prehistoric bird one tough chick.—K. Ramsayer

Early Birds Ready to Rumble
Early Birds Ready to Rumble








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