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junior science the weird & wild world of science 148 pages packed with mind-blowing pictures and unbelievable facts!

amazing experiments!

Make rockets, microscopes and volcanoes out of rubbish!


The stuff your teacher will never tell you…

SCB016 2016



8 91


earth 26 Extreme Earth 1 0 of the most extreme


Humans 8 The science behind the screams From spiders to clowns, phobias are common. But what causes them?

15 Going the distance How do athletes

accomplish their feats?


16 Meet your inner beasts T  he creatures that can

live inside your body. Not for the squeamish!

 20 Pet mummies unwrapped W  hy did the ancient

Egyptians mummify their cats?

22 Homework busters S  cience riddles solved by our team of experts


junior science

environments anywhere on our planet

34 Volcanoes! All you need to know

about these ferocious lava-spewing fountains

39 Killer waves Discover the terrifying power of the oceans

 42 Natural disasters Five surprising ways

that earthquakes, volcanoes and tornadoes can kill you

nature 56 Nature’s brightest minds Why the phrase ‘dumb

animals’ is looking less accurate every year

60 Superpowered M  eet the animals that

could take on the X-Men

44  10 phenomena that science can’t explain The men in white coats

 64 The most deadly animals on Earth Natural born killers,

 52 Homework busters S  cience riddles solved by

68 Homework busters Science riddles solved by

don’t know everything! Here are the questions science still can’t answer

our team of experts

every single one of them. Includes bonus dangerous plants!

our team of experts

junior science Contents

31 19 20


92 WEIRD ALERT! dinosaurs 72 Resurrecting the dinosaurs In the film Jurassic Park,

61 34


dinosaurs were brought back to life. But could we ever do this in real life?

79 How fossils are made The complicated

processes that create fossils explained

 82 Five places to find fossils Fancy unearthing some

dino bones of your own? Here’s where to look‌

85 Top 10 meat-eaters T  he most ferocious


prehistoric carnivores

92 Homework busters Science riddles solved by our team of experts

junior science


humans Humans

Inside the mind of a genius

Doctors recognise over 400 distinct phobias

The secrets of your mind and body

Inside this section

15 Going the distance What are the limits on human sporting prowess?

16 meet your inner beasts The strange creatures that can live inside your body.

20 pet mummies unwrapped Why did the ancient Egyptians mummify cats?

22 homework busters Science riddles solved by our team of experts.

+ Although some spiders do have a venomous bite, a harmless photograph can still be enough to trigger a phobic response in some arachnophobes.


junior science

They are classified as a type of anxiety disorder

Around 10 million people in the UK have a phobia

That is equal to roughly one in every six people

Humans discovered Science of phobias

The science behind the screams

Phobias are irrational by definition, so why do we have them and can they be cured? Dean Burnett

IMAGE Š thinkstock

words BY Dr

junior science


earth Exploring our amazing planet

Inside this section 34 volcanoes! All you need to know about these ferocious lavaspewing fountains.

39 killer waves Discover the terrifying power of the oceans.

42 natural disasters Five surprising ways that earthquakes, volcanoes and tornadoes can kill you.

44 10 phenomena that science can’t explain The men in white coats don’t know everything! Here are 10 questions that science still can’t answer.

52 homework busters Science riddles solved by our team of experts.


junior science

Salar De Uyuni holds over 50% of the world’s lithium

The metal resides in brine pools that lie below the metres-thick salt crust

Earth discovered Extreme Earth

Extreme Earth

From Death Valley to the Dead Sea, from the driest desert to the deepest ocean trench, discover the world’s most extreme environments and how they formed words BY

Hayley Birch

Largest salt flat

Situated 3,650 metres above sea level in the Andes and spanning 11,000km2, Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest flat expanse of salt. When wet, the landscape turns into a giant mirror that on cloudy days creates the illusion of walking on air. The flat formed when salty prehistoric lakes dried out and is estimated to hold 10 billion tonnes of salt, 25,000 tonnes of which are harvested each year. Bolivian children earn $5 a day for raking it into bags.

Though Salar de Uyuni salt is soft and floury, and sought after for artisan cooking, you’ll have trouble finding it outside of South America. Salt sucks the water out of living cells, making any salt flat too harsh an environment for most wildlife. Pink flamingos make a brief stop every year to breed and gorge on brine shrimp in nearby volcanic waters, but even they can’t stand the salt. They drink from freshwater springs and are equipped with salt-excreting nose glands.

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IMAGE © thinkstock

Salar de Uyuni

nature Nature’s fastest, smartest and deadliest

Inside this section

60 superpowered Meet the animals that could take on the X-Men.

64 the most deadly animals on earth Natural born killers, every single one of them. Includes bonus killer plants!

68 homework busters Science riddles solved by our team of experts.

if the environment changes faster than you can evolve, you go extinct. Intelligence offers a short cut. 56

junior science

There are 22 species of macaque

They can be found right across Asia, and into northern Africa and southern Europe

Nature discovered Smartest animals

Nature’s brightest minds The more closely we look at animal intelligence, the more evidence we find of characteristics that were once thought to be unique to human beings Luis Villazon


ntelligence isn’t the ultimate goal of evolution, it’s simply one strategy among many for surviving long enough to spread your genes. After all, bacteria, fungi and plants have been far more successful than humans in evolutionary terms, and they don’t have a single brain cell between them! The great sauropod dinosaurs had brains that were 1/100,000th the size of their bodies, yet they survived for 100 million years, whereas we haven’t even made it to one million yet. A large brain is an expensive organ - it requires a lot of extra food and must be kept warm if it is to function effectively. But what intelligence

offers in return is flexibility. If all your behaviours are coded into your brain at birth, then the only way you can adapt to life in a changing environment is through the slow process of genetic mutation and natural selection. If the environment changes faster than you can evolve, you become extinct. Intelligence offers a short cut to this process. Japanese macaques on the island of Honshu have learned to wash sweet potatoes in sea water to remove dirt after they observed one particular female who discovered this trick. Then they extended this and used seawater to separate sand from grains of rice and wheat as well. In 2005, researchers

Are bigger brains better brains? Not necessarily, it turns out… + The brain’s job isn’t just to provide intelligence. Most of the brain cells in any animal simply receive information from the sensory nerves and use it to coordinate the movements of the muscles. The larger the animal, the more muscles and nerve endings it has, and so the larger the brain it needs to

function. As a general rule, if you double the weight of an animal, it will need 1.6 times the brain tissue to control it. Animals that buck this trend by having a greater ratio of brain to body mass (known as the ‘EQ’) tend to be the most intelligent. But it’s not as simple as that: the animal with the highest EQ

of all is the African tree shrew, but it’s not one of the smartest creatures. What’s more important than the brain’s mass is how many neurons [brain cells] it contains. Primate brains are packed more efficiently than other animals, and so have more neurons per gramme of brain matter.

The tree shrew has a relatively large brain, but it isn’t very efficiently organised

junior science


IMAGEs © thinkstock

words BY

Carnivorous dinosaurs were called theropods

They walked on two legs. Their herbivorous prey – the sauropods – walked on four legs

dinosaurs discovered Dinosaurs Impressive meat-eaters

10 Most impressive

meat-eaters From the tyrants and shark-toothed predators of North America to cannibal beasts and giants, we take a look at some the most dangerous carnivores to stalk the prehistoric world words BY

Dom Reseigh-Lincoln

junior science


Impressive meat-eaters

Albertosaurus and its namesake are the same age

The dinosaur was named in 1905, the same year that Alberta became a province

10 Carnotaurus This small but feisty predator used its Carnotaurus sastrei, the only discovered species of its genus, was a large theropod predator found mainly in South America during the Late Cretaceous period (around 70 to 72 million years ago). Despite its impressive appearance, Carnotaurus was quite lightly built, with a length of roughly 8-9m and a weight of around one tonne. Carnotaurus was also one of the few bipedal theropods to have two thick horns protruding from the top of its skull.

While it could reach considerable speeds - made easier by a refined thigh bone and elongated tail muscle - most studies conclude that Carnotaurus used these bony protrusions mainly in ritual confrontations between males and other social interactions. Its jaw wasn’t particularly powerful, but its shape suggests it used small, fast bites as well as swinging its upper jaw like a serrated club (much like fellow theropod Allosaurus).

Despite its impressive appearance, Carnotaurus was quite lightly built, with a length of roughly 8-9 metres.

IMAGE © Catmando/shutterstock

speed to ambush a variety of prey

At 59.6cm in length, Carnotaurus’ skull was probably one of the shortest of all the theropods

Only one Carnotaurus skeleton has been discovered - found in 1984 in the La Colonia Formation in Argentina - but this single find has proved to be one of the most enlightening in modern palaeontology. Found by a team led by local fossil hunter Jose Bonaparte, the skeleton was

A Carnotaurus skull at the Kenosha Dinosaur Discovery Museum in Wisconsin

found in articulation (ie, it was complete), although certain parts, such as the skull, had been compressed out of shape. Despite this crushing, the find also included a number of skin impressions, providing a intimate look into the skin of bipedal (two-legged) theropods.

IMAGE © FunkMonk / flickr/Model in Royal Tyrrell Museum, VIA WIKI

9Smaller Albertosaurus than Tyrannosaurus rex it may

ABOVE Albertosaurus was named by US palaeontologist and geologist Henry Fairfield Osborn in 1905. Osborn became president of the American Museum of Natural History three years later

albertosaurus’ forelimbs were exceptionally small, and this dinosaur may well have hunted in packs. 86

junior science

have been, but this beast may have had the strength of numbers on its side

Albertosaurus was a form of bipedal theropod that roamed the predator-heavy plains of North American in the Late Cretaceous epoch, around 70 million years ago. Its ‘type species’, A. sarcophagus, is found almost exclusively in the Canadian province of Alberta, giving the creature its name. A typical adult measured around 9m in length, with a weight somewhere between 1.3 and 1.7 metric tonnes. It’s considered by some palaeontologists to be the apex predator of its time and region, but it was considerably smaller than other theropods, such as Tyrannosaurus and Tarbosaurus,

so others argue that it would have hunted outside of the hunting grounds of these larger predators, perhaps relying on more of a scavenging method. While Albertosaurus shared the size, posture and weight distribution of other theropods in this period, its forelimbs were exceptionally small in comparison to its size. While this physical feature wouldn’t have had a huge impact on its success as a predator, the discovery of a large concentration of Albertosaurus remains suggests this dinosaur may well have hunted in packs in order to overcome large herbivores or drive away larger predators.

IMAGE © AStrangerintheAlps, wiki, Kenosha Dinosaur Museum

dinosaurs discovered

space uncovered Feature name


science of Dr Who

Fifty years after the Time Lord first appeared on our screens, Discover Science looks at how much science fact there is behind the science fiction words BY Richard

Edwards images © BBC

Is it possible to travel backwards and forwards through time? Using his TARDIS, the Doctor can travel to any point in space and time as easily as going to the shops All of the Doctors have been big on time travel


junior science

The good news is that time travel is theoretically possible – the laws of physics don’t forbid it. The bad news is that nothing has been observed in the actual universe that suggests it could really happen – the Doctor clearly knows something we don’t. Why do we think it’s feasible? Well, there are circumstances where the equations underpinning Einstein’s theory of relativity could allow for time travel. There’s a big ‘if’, however, in that it would require the existence of ‘negative’ energy, a phenomenon that could cause space-time to curve in a different direction. This ‘negative’ energy has never been observed, nor does anyone know how an object could possess it, but until it’s disproved, the maths makes it possible. If, by some scientific miracle, we were able to create negative energy, it could be feasible to have wormholes linking two points in time. So, presumably, a TARDIS could begin its journey in our present, jump into a

wormhole, and finish the trip in 1963 to witness the filming of the first episode of Doctor Who. Except, it’s not that simple, because in order to make a journey to a fixed point in time, the wormhole would need to be stable at both ends – and it’s highly unlikely that first Doctor, William Hartnell, had the presence of mind to establish a wormhole in his present. In fact, it’s rather more likely that you’d be able to build a wormhole to take you forward to watch Doctor Who’s 100th anniversary. There is one cheat method for time travel. As a consequence of relativity, the closer you travel to the speed of light, the more pronounced the effects of time dilation – effectively, time would go slower for you than everybody else. So a few days for you could be thousands of years for people at your destination. However, your trip would be a one-way ticket, not a full TARDIS ride.


The ‘many worlds’ theory was proposed by Hugh Everett in 1957

Today, the physicist’s son Mark ‘E’ Everett is famous as lead singer of the American band Eels

Technology discovered The science of Dr Who

Could you ever interact with your future self? As we saw in last year’s 50th anniversary special, the Doctor has a habit of running into his earlier selves The simple answer is we just don’t know whether interacting with your future self is possible. Any theories are, at present, impossible to prove. It is, however, fun to speculate. It’s fair to say that meeting another version of yourself would have a pretty

profound, life-changing effect on your future. Nothing brings to light the possibilities of travel more than the grandfather paradox – the question of what happens if you travel back in time to kill your grandfather before your own father has been born. Some physicists believe that the fact you were born means you can’t change the past – your timeline is fixed and Grandpa is safe. This is due to the Novikov selfconsistency principle, which states that it’s impossible for an event to occur that would create a paradox. However, the ‘many worlds’ theory of quantum mechanics suggests a different way of looking at the problem.

Instead of time being one continuity, there are infinite parallel worlds co-existing, until an action in your timeline determines which of these worlds you will continue into. So in theory, you could travel back and kill your grandfather, creating an all-new timeline, while your existence could continue without consequence, as your grandfather never died in the timeline you were born in. But we’re guessing that this isn’t the case in Dr Who. All those different worlds would make the show impossible to follow!


“I don't think we've met before, but your name seems familiar”


Could you alter a creature’s behaviour to make a better soldier? As well as mutating the humanoid Kaleds and encasing them in their Dalek outer layer, Davros altered their personalities to make them fearless, remorseless killers If Davros had wanted to take a softly-softly approach with his Daleks, he could have tried a bit of mental conditioning to remove fear from their psyches. “Scientists have just recently started to use brain training programmes to find out whether the mind can be trained to respond differently to emotions,” explains Dr Eleanor Miles,

a social and cognitive psychologist at the University of Sussex. “There was a very interesting study that came out about six months ago, where the authors found that three weeks of ‘emotional brain training’ could change the way the brain responded to emotional stimuli, and improve people’s ability to regulate negative emotions.” The participants watched films involving war scenes while having their brains scanned. “Participants who had completed the training were better able to reduce negative emotions they felt when watching those films, so this suggests that soldiers could be trained to feel less emotion on the battlefield – although I’m certain this isn’t one of the applications the authors had in mind.” However, the most effective way to eliminate fear may be to meddle with the brain itself – and that opens up a whole other can of worms. “Presumably,

Davros doesn’t need to get ethical approval and can do what he likes!” Miles says. “But the best bit of the brain to damage if you wanted to impair the ability to experience fear would be the amygdala, which is one of the key brain areas involved in emotional experience. “If the amygdalae are damaged in either animals or humans, it drastically reduces their ability to experience fear. So the best way to turn a Kaled into a fearless Dalek would be to destroy its amygdalae.”

Likelihood junior science


Diy science

Build a rocket

diy science Build a rocket Build and experiment at home

Build time:

30 mins

Inside this section

134 speed machines

Cars powered by rubber bands and balloons, plus a tabletop hovercraft!

Who hasn’t wanted to be an astronaut at some point? Here’s how you can do some DIY rocket-building of your very own…

136 build a microscope Plus: how to turn your iPhone into an iScope.

138 KITCHEN SCIENCE How to build a volcano, plus how to make glue and bouncy balls.

140 eggs-periments Bouncing eggs, exploding eggs and more…

142 build a musical instrument Construct your own orchestra using just bottles, wood, glasses and straws.

144 stargazinG How to build a solar viewer, telescope and spectrometer.

what you need... 35mm plastic film canister with snap-on lid, tape, cardboard, scissors, water, fizzy antacid tablets (with sodium bicarbonate), eye goggles (a must), jar.

what to do...


Take the film canister and tape a tube of cardboard around it. This forms the body of your rocket. Next, you’ll want to add a nose cone and fins, to make your rocket look and fly better – see opposite for instructions on how to do this.


junior science

How it works


Best to have an adult round for this bit. Fill the canister one-third with water and drop in half of the tablet. Snap the lid on tightly and place the canister lid-down in the jar.


Make sure it’s not pointed directly at anyone and wait!

As the tablet fizzes, carbon dioxide fills the canister, building up pressure and popping the lid off. When this happens, Newton’s Third Law of Motion – to every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction – means the canister rocket then flies upwards.

Rockets are not a modern invention

The first rockets were made in China during the 13th Century

diy science

Build a rocket

Build time:

1 hour

what you need... Two-litre fizzy drink bottle, bicycle air pump, duct tape, cardboard, scissors, cork, drill, paper.

what to do...

How it works

The compressed air floats to the top of the bottle and pressurises the air volume. The air then pushes the water out of the bottle, causing the bottle to fly upwards – again, this is thanks to Newton’s Third Law of Motion.


Get an adult to do this bit. Place the rocket on the ground in a firm, level location and make sure there are no obstructions above. Then pump the bicycle pump until the rocket launches. Watch it go!

junior science


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