Bombardier beetle vs Toad

February 8, 2018

In the tradition of ‘Killer Whale vs Seal‘, ‘Lion vs Buffalo vs Crocodile‘, ‘Shark vs Octopus‘, ’Leopard vs Porcupine‘, ‘Hornets vs Honey bees‘, ’Salmon vs Grizzly Bear‘, ‘Hippopotamus vs Crocodile’, ‘Polar Bear vs Walrus Colony’, ‘Giraffe vs Giraffe‘, ‘Caterpillar vs Frog‘, ‘Frog vs Poison Newt’, ‘Rubber bands vs Water Melon’,  ‘Sarcastic fringehead vs Sarcastic fringehead’, ‘Jaguar vs Crocodile‘, ‘Snake vs Crocodile‘, ‘Centipede vs Snake‘, ‘Moray Eel vs White Tip Reef Shark‘, ‘Rabbit vs Snake‘, ‘Octopus vs Octopus‘, ‘Rat vs Snake’, ‘Iguana vs Snakes‘, ‘Eel vs Octopus vs Human‘ and ‘Red Octopus vs Swimmer Crab‘ here is ‘Bombardier beetle vs Toad’:

It’s a tie !!!

Animals have evolved all sorts of tactics to ward off predators and avoid getting munched—but Asian bombardier beetles (Pheropsophus jessoensis) can hatch an escape plan even after they’ve been swallowed. Once inside a predator’s stomach, the beetles eject a hot chemical spray that induces vomiting. To find out just how effective that chemical spray is, scientists collected bombardier beetles from forests in central Japan, took them back to their lab, and fed them to two predators, the Japanese common toad and the Japanese stream toad. The toads snatched up the beetles in every single trial. But just moments later, a sound like an explosion burst from their bellies, in some cases followed by a beetle breakout. Nearly half—43%—of the toads vomited up the beetles they had swallowed. And the beetles walked away unscathed. Learn more here.


Why incompetent people think they’re amazing

November 12, 2017

How good are you with money? What about reading people’s emotions? How healthy are you, compared to other people you know? Knowing how our skills stack up against others is useful in many ways. But psychological research suggests that we’re not very good at evaluating ourselves accurately. In fact, we frequently overestimate our own abilities. David Dunning describes the Dunning-Kruger effect.

The Hot List !!!

October 30, 2017

Each year The Educator magazine announces its list of the “hottest” educators in Australia. And guess who made the cut in 2017, yep – Me …

Educator Hot List Cover.jpg

See the full Hot List here.

Read more about why I was recognised here.

TE Hot List 2017 medal.png


Might alien life be buried under too much ice to phone Earth?

October 20, 2017

Why haven’t we had alien contact? Blame icy ocean worlds perhaps.


It’s only recently that astronomers have come to appreciate how common oceans are in our solar system; evidence for them can be seen on several moons of Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune, and even distant Pluto. These worlds all have water ice as a major component of their crusts, which forms towering mountains and cracked canyons on their surfaces but melts into liquid water at lower depths. Hydrothermal vents on these ocean beds might pump nutrients into their surroundings, similar to ecosystems at the bottom of Earth’s oceans. Such nurseries for life—shielded from space by a thick ice shell—might even be more productive than our own exposed environment.

And should living organisms on icy ocean worlds evolve into intelligent creatures, they probably wouldn’t know the night sky as well as us humans. Perhaps the equivalent of their “space program” would simply be boring through to the frozen surface of their planet. Learn more here.

How To Learn Faster

October 2, 2017

Mixing Aluminum and Mercury is crazy

August 31, 2017

Check it out, it’s really cool …

Amazing Examples of Animal Camouflage

June 21, 2017

Camouflage is really cool!

Check out these great examples of animal camouflage

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More here.

Year 8 Chemistry is available

June 20, 2017

My latest book, Year 8 Chemistry, is now available for free download for Mac, iPad or iPhone.

Yr8 Chemistry Cover sml

Check it out here.

See more books here.

Kepler finds 219 new exoplanets and 10 are rocky and Earth-like

June 20, 2017

The galaxy is full of worlds like ours. That’s the lesson from Kepler, NASA’s prodigious exoplanet-hunting mission, which has found another 219 potential new exoplanets, bringing its total to 4034, according to a final analysis of its main 4-year search and published in a final catalog released today. Of the new candidates, 10 are near in size to Earth and sit in the habitable zone of their stars—the range of orbits in which liquid water could exist on their surfaces. Those new additions bring the total number of potentially habitable planets detected by Kepler to 49.

And that’s just in the corner of the sky that Kepler stared at.

Kepler telescope catalog.jpg

Learn more here or here.

Seeing the Invisible

June 18, 2017

This is what the world would look like if you could see invisible air currents, temperature gradients, and differences in pressure or composition of the air.