Wednesday, 15 September, 2021

Project Jurassic Elephant; Germany’s cow toilets; Rugby hero finally an Aussie; and meet Tasmania’s Turbo Chook.



Woolly mammoth :


Turbo chooks in action: 


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If you’ve seen Jurassic World, or any of the Jurassic Park movies, you’ll know they’re about scientists bringing dinosaurs back to life by cleverly extracting dinosaur DNA from fossils.

Well real life is about to imitate the movies following news yesterday that scientists in America and the United Kingdom plan to bring wooly mammoths back to life – with hopes that wooly mammoth calves could be walking the tundras of the Arctic Circle within the next ten years.

What’s a tundra? It’s the name given to the vast open, treeless plains and grasslands found in polar regions. What’s a wooly mammoth? Great big hairy elephants that roamed the Earth in prehistoric times. Think Manny from Ice Age. And what’s DNA? It’s the genetic code inside every living thing that determines how that things looks and functions.  

Fourteen years ago, scientists found the remains of a wooly mammoth calf frozen in the tundra of Siberia – a freezing cold part of Russia. The dead mammoth was more than 42,000 years old .. yet because it had been frozen all that time, it was in remarkably good condition. I’ve stuck a link to photos of it in today’s episode notes.

The plan now is to extract DNA from the mammoth remains, combine it with the DNA of Asian elephants that live on the Earth today – and try to bring into the world a little herd of wooly mammoth calves – which would eventually be set free to wander the tundra of Siberia just as they did 40,000 years ago. 

Imagine that? 



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops, and today we’ve landed in Germany … where toilets have been built for cows to try to save the environment.

They’re being called ‘moo loos’ for obvious reasons – and they work by collecting cow pooh and wee. 

The trick is to train calves to use the toilets,   in the same way dogs or cats are trained to only go to the toilet in certain places … as in, in a kitty litter or outside in the backyard – and not in your living room or kitchen.

According to the scientists – cows are smarter than most people think and can be trained to poo and wee only in certain places. Who knew? 

Cows have really gassy stomachs – and their farts are a major cause of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming. And their wee is highly concentrated with nitrate – which also contributes to global warming. 

It’s hoped that by collecting cow pats and cow wee, we’ll be able to minimse the impact our cud-chewing friends have on the environment.

I’ve stuck a link to a photo of a calf entering a moo-loo in today’s episode notes. 




He’s Australia’s newest sporting hero, and thanks to a change in citizenship rules, Wallaby star Quade Cooper is finally going to be allowed to become an Australian citizen.

If you caught the rugby match on Sunday between the South African Sprinboks and the Australian national team, the Wallabies, you’ll know Australia’s victory was pretty much down to Quade Cooper’s boot – and the fact he kicked eight goals from eight attempts. 

Quade, who is now 33, has lived in Australia since he moved her from New Zealand at the age 13 – and he’s played rugby for Australia 71 times. But until a change in rules announced yesterday – he wasn’t eligible for Australian citizenship.

To be an Australian citizen means you are entitled to an Australian passport and all the rights and privileges that Australians enjoy. Cooper – who many hope will front up again this weekend when the Wallabies face world champs South Africa again – said he was grateful to finally have a chance to call himself an Aussie. 



If you’re listening in today from Tasmania, you’ll have to excuse us for being quite excited about something you probably already know … the mighty Turbo Chook. Officially known as the Tasmanian native hen, the turbo chook is a flightless bird that, as its nickname suggests, can run really fast. Like, 50 km/h fast. Imagine that – if it sped past your school during pick up or drop off, it would get a ticket! 

A researcher studying Tasmania’s very own road runner said that there used to be hundreds of flightless bird species all around the world, but most went extinct once they came into contact with humans. (I bet you can figure out why… hungry humans, versus birds that can’t fly away…) The Turbo Chook became extinct on the Australian mainland, too, but managed to hang on in Tassie, where locals love their quirky native bird. Check your episode notes for a video of their turbo-charged behavior. 




This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening …

  1. What animals are being trained to use a toilet in Germany?
  2. What sort of prehistoric creature could soon be walking the tundras of the Arctic Circle?
  3. The Tasmanian hen is better known by locals as what?




It’s September 15 .. birthday of Prince Harry … keep it royal Prince H .. 

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … Harris from Gosford East, Sophie from Geelong, Kayla from Mornington, Max from Greenhills Beach, Cameron from Springwood, Maryem from St Clair, Jack from Warrnambool and Sarah from Mitchelton. 

And a belated birthday shout out goes to Zahra from Dee Why.

Plus!!  … Because our friends in Melbourne, Canberra and most of NSW are in lockdown – we’re sending out Home Learning Herograms ….and as this is the last week of term 3 we wanted to include as many classroom herogram’s as possible – so we’re going to test run a little Lockdown background music … hit it …

And it’s a home learning herogram to class 5K from Glendenning Public School, class 5/6T and Mrs Tailford at Ellison Public School, to Ms Brown and all the kindy teachers at Lindfield Public School, to class 4LA and Ms Anthonisz at Mount View Primary School.  Also to Miss Webb at Mount Terry Public School in Albion Park, to class 4W and Mrs O’Connell at St John’s Catholic Primary in Narraweena, to class 3N at Matthew Pearce Public School in Baulkham Hills,  to year 2 and Mrs Hardwick at St Francis De-Sales in Woolooware. More herograms go to – class 2KB and Katie at Kew Primary School, Mrs Wright, Mrs Worland, Mrs Niven and Mrs Church at Catherine McAuley School in Orange,  Mrs Emin at Mount Warrigal Public School, to Mrs Reeves and Mrs Cale at Hornsby North Public School, to class 3/ 4M and all the teachers at Gosford East Public School and to Mr Brown at Blackwell Public School in St Clair.

Lastly to all the Grade 6 classes at Drummoyne Public School – your teachers are so proud of the dedication and perseverance you have shown with home learning.


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Cows
  2. Woolly mammoth 
  3. Turbo Chook