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Symbiartic

The art of science and the science of art.

Are You A Mammal? Standardized Test

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Hannah Bonner is an illustrator who is creating an empire of informative, entertaining kids' books about paleontology. They remind me of The Magic School Bus series by Joanna Cole: real science conveyed with a wacky sense of humor. Take, for example, Bonner's "Are You A Mammal?" standardized test. It opens with the following instructions:

Instructions: If alive, complete whole test. If you are extinct, skip Part I since soft-tissue evidence doesn't fossilize well.

Did you laugh?! I did! Here's the test in context:

from Bonner's "When Dinos Dawned..."

from Bonner's "When Dinos Dawned..."

A two-page spread from Hannah Bonner's "When Dinos Dawned, Mammals Got Munched, and Pterosaurs Took Flight""

Bonner has three kids' books out for ages 8-12, all published by National Geographic:

When Dinos Dawned, Mammals Got Munched, & Pterosaurs Took Flight;

When Fish Got Feet, Sharks Got Teeth, and Bugs Began to Swarm; and

When Bugs Were Big, Plants Were Strange, and Tetrapods Stalked the Earth.

She also has a board game called Evolve or Perish! that you can download for free from the Smithsonian's webpage.

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Every day in the month of September, we are serving up a different science artist for your viewing pleasure. Can’t get enough? Check out what was featured on this day last year: Blood of a Hero by Paolo Rivera.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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