May 20


Do you like pretzels? 

Their English name comes from the German word for pretzel, but we don’t know who invented them or why they are shaped like knots.

Pretzels have been used as a symbol for bakers in Germany since the 12th century.

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Mar 31


April 1 is April Fools’ Day, when many people play jokes on each other. One classic April Fools’ prank was a broadcast on the BBC in 1957 about spaghetti trees. Spaghetti doesn’t grow on trees, of course, but the video showed people harvesting spaghetti noodles from trees.

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Mar 02


What’s the best way to avoid spreading germs when you sneeze? Use a tissue and throw it away. Then wash your hands right away. What if you don’t have a tissue? The next best thing is to sneeze into your sleeve—your upper arm, not your hands. Wash your hands as soon as you can, too!

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Jan 27


Mice are probably the most famous rodents. Rats are a lot like mice but bigger. Another rodent that makes a good pet is a hamster. The biggest rodent is the capybara. All rodents have long front teeth and must gnaw or chew on things to wear them down.

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Dec 09


Did you know that spiders are not insects? Insects have six legs, and spiders have eight. Spiders, along with scorpions and mites, are arachnids. They don’t have antennae, which insects do. They also don’t have wings. The word “arachnid” comes from the Greek myth of Arachne, who turned into a spider.

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Nov 11


The English name for the chrysanthemum comes from Greek for “gold” and “flower”. Chrysanthemums originally come from China, where they were grown as early as the 15th century BC. They came to Japan in the 8th century (Nara period), but didn’t arrive in America until 1798. In Australia, white chrysanthemums are used to celebrate Mother’s Day.

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Sep 30


Most bees would rather leave you alone than sting you. The honeybee has an especially good reason not to want to sting anyone. Other bees and wasps have smooth stingers, but a honeybee’s stinger is barbed, and gets stuck in the person or animal it stung. After the bee stings, some of its organs stay behind with the stinger, and the bee soon dies.

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Aug 19


Bees are important insects that pollinate flowers, and some make honey. Bees usually don’t want to sting, because they will die after stinging. Wasps are similar, yellow-and-black insects that can sting, but they can sting more than once. Wasps can pollinate, but their main benefit is eating other insects. Bees are fat and hairy, while wasps are slim and smooth. A wasp’s legs hang down in flight. The biggest wasp in the world is the Asian giant hornet.

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Jul 01



Hermit crabs are known for living in the discarded shells of other animals. They trade their shells for bigger ones as they grow. Sometimes they fight over the best shells. Sometimes they use other objects when no good shells are available. They have ten legs, but only six are used for walking. The others are inside the shell.

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Jun 03


Many cats have stripes, but only a few kinds of cats have spots! The Egyptian Mau is a very old breed. They are small, slim, short-haired cats, and very fast. Their voices are said to be very beautiful. Sometimes you can see a scarab beetle in the markings on a Mau’s forehead.

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