Why do pineapples have spiky leaves and do sharks sleep? Try our kids’ quiz

<span>Illustration: Hennie Haworth/The Guardian</span>
Illustration: Hennie Haworth/The Guardian
  1. Cleo, 5, asks: why do pineapples have spiky leaves?

    1. So they look wonderful

    2. To stop animals eating them and to get them water

    3. So that if you sit on one you spike your bottom

    4. To catch passing insects

  2. Martha, 5, asks: why do children’s hearts beat faster than adults’ hearts?

    1. Their hearts are smaller so they need to pump blood more quickly

    2. Children do more fun things, so need more beats

    3. Children drink more coffee than adults

    4. Children move quickly!

  3. Louis, 6, asks: when you click your fingers, why does it make a sound?

    1. Your bones snap against each other

    2. It’s static electricity

    3. You imagine the sound

    4. Friction lets you store the energy built up between finger and thumb – the energy releases when your finger hits your palm

  4. Florence, 9, asks: do sharks get tired because they can’t sleep?

    1. Sharks do sleep, curled up on the bottom of the ocean

    2. Sharks need to keep water flowing over their gills, but do have periods of deep rest

    3. Sharks are exhausted!

    4. Sharks never get tired. They are unstoppable!

  5. Jacob, 7, asks: Tyrannosaurus rex is obviously the best dinosaur, but what does rex mean in English?

    1. Big-toothed

    2. Giant

    3. King

    4. Killer


1:B - A pineapple’s spiky leaves protect it from being eaten by animals. These leaves help conserve water, so the pineapple makes the best use of any water in hot countries., 2:A - Children have smaller hearts than adults, so they can’t pump as much blood round their bodies with each heartbeat. Small hearts have to beat more often to keep up! Kids also burn through energy faster, so the heart needs to get oxygen-filled blood around quickly., 3:D - Friction allows you to store the energy you build up when you press your finger and thumb together. As your thumb moves away during the “snapping action”, this energy is released, with your finger rapidly hitting your palm. The impact generates weak shock waves that we hear as a click., 4:B - Sharks don’t sleep; they need to keep water flowing over their gills for oxygen. They rest by slowing down their activity to save energy so they don’t get super tired., 5:C - Rex is Latin for “ruler” or “king”. Tyrannosaurus is Greek for “tyrant lizard”. Tyrannosaurus rex means the “king of the tyrant lizards”.


  1. 5 and above.

  2. 4 and above.

  3. 3 and above.

  4. 2 and above.

  5. 0 and above.

  6. 1 and above.

Molly Oldfield hosts Everything Under the Sun, a weekly podcast answering children’s questions, out now as a book.

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