Peter.D.Riley

International bestselling award-winning author Facebook Twitter

Taking science education across the world

Our future depends on exploring all the frontiers of science, on innovative technologies based on these explorations and on the development of scientific literacy in all peoples through science education.

Can you identify this purple plant?

Last week’s curiosity was a bushy lichen. When you see them, it’s an indication of clean air.

This week, can you identify this purple-flowering plant? Do you know where it grows?

Curiosity box



What is this plant and what does it indicate?

Did you know what last week’s curiosity box item was? It’s an antique field telescope used by scientists when they’re out and about in the countryside.

antique field microscope

antique field microscope

This week, can you identify this plant and what it indicates?

Curiosity box

Can you identify the plant?

The answer, as always, will be posted next week.



Look closely to identify this week’s mystery item

Did you work out what the stone’s secret was last week?

It was a geode in which white quartz crystals have formed.

A Geode

A Geode

You may have to look closely to work out what this week’s curiosity is. For a clue, visit the “A Writing Life” page on this site and look at the second picture.

You may have to look very closely to work out what this curiosity is

You may have to look very closely to work out what this curiosity is



Can you guess this stone’s secret?

Last week’s curiosity was Cuckoo Spit! Although known as cuckoo spit, frog spit or even snake spit, it’s not even spit at all. It’s actually plant sap which is churned into froth by an insect called a Froghopper to protect it’s young in their larval stage.

This week, can you guess what this stone’s secret might be? It’s cracked, I wonder what might be inside!

What's this stone's secret?

What’s this stone’s secret?



Can you identify what’s in this week’s curiosity box?

Last weeks curiosity box item was a small Barrel Cactus

Small Barrel Cactus

Small Barrel Cactus

This week, can you identify this sticky substance that is often seen on the stalks and leaves of plants?

Picture source: Wikimedia Commons



Can you identify this fossil?

The item in last week’s curiosity box was an Old Man Cactus, so named on account of its hair. I have had it growing in its little pot for years and its hair has become quite thick. It lives on the windowsill of my study.

Cactus

Cactus

This week, can you identify the mystery fossil?

What is this fossil?

What is this fossil?

Did you get it? It’s an Ammonite fossil!



Can you identify this curiously fuzzy plant?

Last week’s curiosity box conundrum was a Leafy Sea Dragon ( Phycodurus Eques). They live in Australia along the western and southern coasts where they feed on planktonic animals. They grow up to 24cm long.

Can you identify this week’s curiously fuzzy plant? The answer will be posted next Monday.

What is this curiously fuzzy plant?

What is this curiously fuzzy plant?



Can you identify this sea creature?

Last week’s mystery item was a fossilised shark’s tooth! This week’s curiosity box conundrum is a sea creature, can you identify it? I’ll post the answer next Monday.

Can you name the sea creature?

Can you name the sea creature?

You can find the answer here.



What’s in my curiosity box?

My next series of science books called Curiosity Box will be published in the spring of 2016. It will feature items that children often collect on their walks in the countryside or along the sea shore.

These are the kind of items that eventually find themselves on bedroom window sills so the series is designed to re-examine them in a scientific way and build up an even larger data base. Curiosity is a precursor of scientific thought and this series is designed to help children think like a scientist.

Each week I will photograph an item from my own curiosity box collection (which at the moment resides with others on my study window) or from the countryside around my home.

Here is the first close-up of an object from my curiosity box. Can you guess what it is?  I’ll post the answer on Friday afternoon.

Can you guess what's in my curiosity box this week?

Can you guess what’s in my curiosity box this week?

Did you get it? It’s a fossilised shark’s tooth!

Fossilised Shark Tooth

Fossilised Shark Tooth

You can find out the answer here.



My Books

Follow the links below to find out more about my books and book series, as well as downloadable resources for teachers and parents using my books.

Books for Primary Schools
Books for Secondary Schools

Books and Resources for Teachers

Contact Me

I can be contacted in the following ways. If you have a picture for the Natural World Photo Gallery or the Science Exhibition Gallery, please send it by email.