Africa is one of the continents of the Earth.
Air is a mixture of gases including nitrogen and oxygen. Air surround us, and we breathe it in and out.
Algae are living things that get energy from light (like plants do). Many algae are very small, but seaweeds are algae.
Your great-grandparents, your great-great-grandparents (and so on) are your ancestors. All living things have ancestors.
Animals are living things that cannot get energy from light so they have to have food. Their bodies are made of many cells.
Antarctica is one of the continents of the Earth. It's in the south. It's very cold all year.
Antennae are long 'feelers' attached to the heads of some animals. They're used for sensing (collecting information) about the world, such as by touch or smell.
Humans and some other animals don't use four legs for walking. So we have two 'spare' legs, with hands and fingers.
The atmosphere is the layer of air around the Earth.
Some animals have bones that make an 'inside' skeleton. These animals have a string of bones, with their head at one end. It's their backbone.
A bee is a kind of insect that lives on nectar and pollen that they collect from flowers. Some bees make honey, and many kinds live in colonies or bee-hives.
Birds are living things with backbones and feathers. They lay eggs and have warm bodies.
Blood is a liquid inside the bodies of many animals. It carries material (stuff) around the body.
A bone is hard and is part of the inside skeleton of some animals.
To breathe means to take in air to get oxygen and then to send the air out again to get rid of carbon dioxide.
A calf is a young cow.
A chick is a young bird.
Scientists have told us that the whole world is getting warmer. They say it's mostly because we burn too much coal, oil and gas. It's bad news for living things on the planet.
Humans, like other mammals, and also birds, have warm bodies. If our bodies get too cold we die. Some animals, like seals and polar bears, have special protection against the cold.
Our eyes and brains make different colours from different kinds of light. Different animals see different colours.
One of the interesting things about humans is that we use sound so much to communicate. We talk (in different languages). We also have an ability to understand pictures and symbols – like these letters. Other animals are much better than us at sending messages by smell. Like other animals, we also send messages by how we behave,
Corn is the seed of some kinds of grass. We call them 'cereals'.
Other animals don't know anything about countries, except when humans build walls and fences that stop them moving freely. Only people seem to think that countries are important.
A crocodile is a large reptile. They eat meat.
A crop is a plant that we grow for food.
Some animals of Antarctica
How can you tell it's a bird?
• beak (and no teeth)
• only two legs (the 'front legs' are wings)
• has a backbone (but you can't tell from this picture)
• lays eggs (but you can't tell from this picture)
• has warm blood (but you can't tell from this picture)
Communicating by smell
That tongue isn't for eating. It's for sensing the world.
How do you send messages about how you feel?
Lizards use their tongues.
A dairy is part of a farm for working with milk. The word also describes anything to do with milk.
You can buy 'dairy products'. They can be milk, or anything made from milk.
What's left after plants and animals die is 'dead stuff'. It can also be animal waste (aka poo). It's very very important because it has good stuff (nutrients) that plants can use to grow. Plants take in the good stuff through their roots. Earthworms help to make the good stuff ready for plants.
A virus (a VERY tiny bug) causes dengue fever. (Different viruses cause colds and flu.) Mosquitoes spread the disease from person to person.
To develop is to change or grow, from one thing to another. The final state is usually more complete than the starting state.
All living things die. But life goes on. New young living things replace the old ones.
If you have a disease something inside isn't working properly.
The part of animal's body that's senses sound is called an ear. It's connected to the brain.
An earthworm is a small animal that lives underground. It has no bones or shell. It eats 'dead stuff' and helps to make it easier for plants to take in 'good stuff' (nutrients).
Animals can't get energy from light. (Plants and algae can.) So animals must take in energy-value food. They (we!) must eat.
The part of animal's body that's senses light is called an eye. It's connected to the brain.
Females of most animals make eggs. Males add extra stuff (very small!) so eggs can grow into young animals.
Many changes, especially good and useful changes, need energy to make them happen. Energy can come from sunlight (in plants and animals) or from food.
Environment means 'surroundings' – everything that surrounds you and affects your life.
A steaming pile of poo from farm animals. It's manure, dung, or muck. It's smelly but it's good for plants. It's 'dead stuff' and it's full of nutrients.
The 'dead stuff' in animal poo has lots of 'good stuff' for plants. So farmers spread 'muck' on their fields. That way they can grow more food for you.
Light sensors. Many many animals have them.
A fang is a tooth or another kind of sharp part of an animal's head.
A place where humans grow food is a farm.
A person who looks after a farm and grows our food is a farmer.
Fat is a substance that we (and other animals) all have in our bodies. It stores energy. A layer of fat under your skin can help to keep you warm.
Feathers are complicated coverings of birds. They help them to fly, to keep their bodies warm, and they can have many colours. The colours provide communication to other birds of the same species. Feathers are made of keratin (and so is your hair).
A female is a living thing or part of a living thing. She or it makes parts (usually small) that do not need to move. These parts can grow into new (young) living things after a male adds a matching part.
Fingernails are parts of the bodies of humans and apes. They're hard and they have no nerves. So it doesn't hurt when you cut the ends of your fingernails. They're useful tools.
Fish are animals that live in water. They have backbones and skeletons. They need oxygen (just like you do) and they can get that from the water (through their gills). There are many kinds (species) of fish.
There are about a million (1,000,000) different kinds of fly. They're insects. They have the right name – they're very good at flying.
Some animals that live in the sea, like seals and turtles, have flippers instead of legs (or arms). Flippers are better for swimming.
A flower has female and male parts. So it's job is to make seeds that can grow into new plants.
Living things need nutrients and energy. Animals get those by taking in material (stuff) from their surroundings. Plants and algae also take in nutrients, but they get energy from sunlight.
A forest is a place with many trees. There may also be a lot of other kinds of plants, and animals too.
A fruit carries seeds, and contains nutrients that will help the seeds to grow after the fruit has 'gone rotten'. We (and other animals) can use the nutrients too (before the fruit goes rotten). That can be good for the plant. It helps to spread the seeds to new places where new plants can grow.
When we say 'good stuff' we're talking about nutrients. They are materials (or substances) that living things need to stay alive. to grow and to reproduce.
A wild area or farmland with grass, is grassland. There used to be tigers in wild grassland, but they have all gone.
Some plants need warmth. They also need to be protected from the wind. They certainly need to be protected from animals that would eat them. So people make houses with glass or plastic walls. They provide a good environment for the plants.
Farmers grow crops. Animals grow – they start as small and get bigger.
Different environments: greenhouse, and wild grassland
Mammals have hair or fur or wool. It's all made of keratin.
A hammerhead slug is also known as a hammerhead flatworm. They eat earthworms. Earthworms are good for soil. They help to provide nutrients to plants. So the hammerheads are harmful.
Farmers gather in crops and get it ready to sell. That's called the harvest.
Most animals have some kind of heart. Hearts have mussels and they pump blood around the body. You don't have to think about your heartbeat. It happens automatically.
A hippo is a large animal that lives in African rivers. A hippo weighs about the same as 15 big people.
Bees make honey as a way of storing food for their young larvae. They make it from sweet nectar that they collect from flowers.
Inside a beehive there are many six-sided rooms. The rooms all together are a honeycomb.
One of the species that lives on the Earth. (Maybe you've seen some.)
An animal that hasn't had enough food is a hungry animal.
Mammals have hair (or fur or wool)
When it's cold (normally less than 0°C, water becomes a solid. The solid is ice.
Indonesia is a large island country in south-east Asia.
There are about a million kinds (species) of insects. Most of the animals in the world are insects. They have six legs, three body sections, antennae, and a stiff outer layer (an outside skeleton).
there are no Js yet.
Keratin is a substance you make in your body. You make it from your food. Many animals make keratin.
The Komodo dragon is the world's biggest lizard. They're big enough to eat cows!
Not a dinosaur but a Komodo dragon
Most of the Earth is covered by ocean. The dry bits in between the oceans are 'land' – continents and islands.
Some animals such as insects and frogs have a stage of life that's very different to the adult stage. For example, tadpoles are the larvae of frogs. Caterpillars are the larvae of butterflies.
(Note: One larva, two larvae)
A leaf is a part of a plant that's important for getting energy from sunlight, and also for letting gases (oxygen, carbon dioxide and water vapour) come in and out.
Most land animals have four, six or eight legs that they use to move around. It's sensible. It's harder to fall over. Humans are unusual. We can't walk for the first year of our lives, and then we fall over a lot. And compared with most other animals we can't move very fast.
Rocks can't move on their own, they don't need energy or food, they don't feel anything, they don't grow, they don't produce new rocks, they don't poo or pee – they don't have LIFE. You and a worm and a tree do most of those things. You have LIFE.
A chicken, an egg and a chick make a simple life cycles. Life cycles repeat time after time after time. A chick will become a chicken and lay an egg that will become a chick that will grow into a chicken and lay an egg that will ...
A limb is an arm or a leg. You have four.
Liquids and gases can flow. Liquids and solids and they're 'thicker' (more dense, more squashed) than gases. Water is a liquid.
Lizards are a kind of reptile.
Lobsters are sea animals with hard outer layer (exoskeleton). They have ten legs to crawl about the sea floor. Many people like to eat them.
A lobster ... people usually think they're tasty ... but not so beautiful.
Migration ... African wildebeest moving to live in a new place
Malaria is a disease that causes weakness and tiredness, and can even kill. About 200 million people (200 000 000) catch malaria every year. Mosquitoes spread the disease, in hot countries.
A mammal is a kind of animal with hair (or fur or wool). Mammals have warm bodies and females make milk for their young (babies).
A male is a living thing or part of a living thing. He or it makes tiny parts that move to join with female parts. After joining, these parts can grow into the beginnings of a new (young) living thing.
To mate means to combine small parts from the body of a living thing with small parts from a living thing of the opposite sex. The combined parts can grow into a new (young) living thing.
Meat is part of the body of an animal that is eaten by another animal.
Hmmm. Meerkat? What's that? (You can find out on this website.)
Some animals, including people, travel to live in a new place. they migrate.
The journey to live in a new place is a migration.
Milk is a liquid with lots of good stuff (nutrients). It's produced by female mammals to feed their babies.
You probably have one. Most animals do.
Flowers make nectar. It's a sweet liquid that insects love. So the flowers encourage the insects to visit. that way, the insects spread pollen from flower to flower. Pollen carries the male part that must join with a female part (usually from a different flower). Then a seed can grow. The flowers feed the insects, and the insects help the flowers.
Nerves are long threads in animal bodies. Changes can happen along the threads, starting at one end. The changes carry simple information from one end to the other. With many nerves working together the information can be complicated. That's what happens inside your brain. You are awesome!
The poles of the Earth are cold places, while the equator is mostly hot. The Earth has two poles – we call them north an south.
Your nose has chemical sensors. It has nerve endings that can send information about 'stuff' in the air. the information goes to your brain.
All animals need to take nutrients – good stuff – from their surroundings.
North and South
Most of the world is covered in Oceans. They are huge areas of water.
To paralyse usually means to stop an animal's nerves working, so that it can't move.
Cats, dogs and bears are animals with paws. They are the animals' feet. They can also be used to catch prey, especially if they have good claws.
People are members of the human species. They (we) are good at using tools and at communicating. We are not particularly strong and we can't move fast (without machines). But we are good at working in groups. We survive by being clever.
The Earth is one planet. It's the only one we know that has LIFE. But there may be planets near other stars that have living things.
The ocean has clouds of tiny living things that get energy from sunlight. It's a great food for many animals, including giant whales. It's called plankton.
Plants get energy from the Sun and some nutrients from their surroundings. Many plants get nutrients from the soil.
A poison is a harmful substance.
A polar bear is a large animal that eats meat. It's a carnivore.
Pollen is the powder, usually yellow, in flowers. It carries the male part that is necessary for making seeds.
Poo is animal waste.
Prey is an animal that other animals eat.
A pupa is a stage in the life of some insects. It comes between the larva stage and the adult stage. The pupa doesn't eat, while it slowly changes from a larva (such as a caterpillar) into an adult (such as a butterfly).
We live on land, but most of the world is covered in ocean.
Mother and cubs. They look cute but they can be dangerous.
A queen bee is larger than other bees. She is the only bee in a beehive that produce eggs.
A honeycomb with a queen bee and her helpers.
A rat is an animal that likes to live close to people, because we provide them with food. Often the food is our wasted food.
A relative in everyday speaking is a member of the same family, including cousins and so on. Scientists also talk about families of species, such as the cat family. A lion and a pet cat are both members of that family. So in this website we call them 'relatives'.
Reptiles are a kind of animal, including lizards, crocodiles, turtles and snakes. They have scales, lay eggs, and do not have warm bodies.
Rice is the seed of some types of grass. It makes good food for humans, and so it's an important crop.
Rock is the solid material of the outside layer of the Earth.
Plants have roots so that they can take in water and nutrients. Roots also fix the plants firmly to the ground.
Mountains are made of rock, but that's just the outer layer of the Earth.
There are more than 3000 different kinds of snake. they're reptiles, without legs or ears or voices. But being close to the ground has an advantage. They can hear vibrations. They use their tongues to smell, and many kinds can 'see' heat.
Many animals have 'skin' made of small hard plates. These small plates are their scales.
A seal is a mammal that lives in the sea and at the edge of the sea.
Animals have many ways to find out abut what's going on around them. They can smell, hear, and see, for example. To see means to 'sense' light.
Plants make seeds. A seed is the first stage that can grow into a new plant.
To sense means to detect the world around you.
A shell is a hard outer layer of an egg or of an animal such as a snail or mussel. It's called an 'exoskeleton'.
Shrimps live in water. They have long bodies with thin legs and antennae, with eyes on sticks on their heads.
Insects and spiders can make long threads, or silk. In insects, it's often the larvae that make silk. they warp it around themselves for protection while they change into adults. If humans can collect enough silk they can make it into fabric for clothes.
Skin provides a body covering. It protects animals from harmful things around them, such as bacteria. It also helps to control escape of too much water.
Most animals have times when they sleep. They become less active and less aware.
Slugs don't have legs but 'walk' on their stomachs. they don't have shells either. They have tentacles on their heads for sensing light and smell. They make slime on their bodies.
For many animals, smell is the most important way of sensing the world. They can use smell to find food and to find a mate.
Some places on the earth's land are rocky. But most places have grains or rock. They also have living things. Living things die and make waste. Dead things and waste mix with the grain of rocks to make soil.
When things shape rapidly, or vibrate, they make sound. The sound travels out from the vibration. It can travel though rock, through water, and through air. Living things often use the travelling vibrations to find out about (sense) the world. That's called hearing.
A species is a kind of living thing. All the people in the world are members of the homo sapiens species
Spiders have an outside skeleton – a thick and strong outer layer. So they don't have bones. They have eight legs and they make thread or silk.
Spiders use spinnerets to make very strong silk. The spiders have a liquid that they throw out and spin. It turns to solid as it comes out into the air.
Some places in the world are hot all the year round. But many places have four seasons – winter, spring, summer and autumn. In the winter living things do less growing. Spring is the time when new growth begins.
Sugar is a food with high energy-value.
The world is full of super-tiny bugs, They're too small to see. Some kinds make you ill if the get inside your body. They can cause colds, flu, and other 'infections'. But many live inside you and help you. Some help you to digest your food. Some help you to make vitamins from your food. You provide a warm and cosy place and they pay you back with this kind of help.
Spiders' webs trap insects. The spider just has to sit there and wait for lunch to come along.
A slimy slug slithering across someone's salad.
Taste is a way of finding out about things in the world outside you. Good things often taste good, and harmful things often taste bad.
If you swallow your food in big lumps you can't get the 'good stuff' (nutrients) into your blood. So you, and many other animals, have teeth to chop the food up before it goes very far.
In large oceans the sea rises and falls. In most places by the sea takes more than 12 hours from one high tide to the next
A tiger is a large mammal that eats meat. (An animal that eats meat is a carnivore.)
A tool is something in the world that an animal uses to do a job. Octopuses can make shelters and even fences. Some fish use tools to open shells to get food. Crows can use sticks. (Humans use tools too.)
A tongue is part of an animal's body for sensing the world (by taste and smell) and for helping to take in food.
A tree is a large plant, with leaves to get energy from sunlight and roots to get nutrients from the ground.
A monkey using a tool
Teeth ... good for chopping up food ... and for smiling
there are no Us yet.
veg / vegetable
There are very many many kinds of living things on Earth. There are millions and millions of species. There's a lot of variety.
Vegetables are parts of plants such as leaves and roots, that we can eat.
A vertical line or a vertical surface goes up and down from the ground.
Bees collect nectar and pollen from flowers. They work together. A bee that finds a place with good flowers tells other bees the direction and the distance by doing a dance when they get back to the beehive. That's the waggle dance.
Waste is what plants and animals don't need. So they get rid of it from their bodies.
Wax is a solid substance (stuff) that can be made into different shapes. Many plants and animals make wax. We can use some wax to burn (like in candles) and for making things like polish and even chocolates.
A web is a structure with many links or connections.
We say that a place or a living thing that is not used by humans is wild.
A wing is a part of a living thing (such as bird or insect) that's used for flying.
Some places in the world are hot all the year round. But many places have four seasons – winter, spring, summer and autumn. In the winter living things do less growing.
Sometimes people use ‘the world' to mean the Earth, our planet. Sometimes it means everything around us. Sometimes it means the whole Universe, including stars and faraway galaxies.
Winter, when water can fall in solid flakes of snow
Waste is part of life,
for everybody and everything that lives.
there are no Xs yet.
The Earth's journey around the Sun takes one year. The journey gives us seasons – winter, spring, summer ad autumn.
The Zambezi is a large river in Africa.
A heron and black storks in the Zambezi river in Africa
(C) Smilite Ltd, 2019-2021
Image credits: all photography and illustration by Adobe Stock, unless otherwise stated