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ASU's 'Ask A Biologist' Celebrates 21 Years Of Answered Questions

By Kaely Monahan
Published: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - 7:04pm
Updated: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - 10:55pm
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Have you ever wondered why dogs only sweat through their feet? Or why cacti have spines instead of leaves? There’s a website that can answer your questions.

It’s called "Ask A Biologist." It’s run by Arizona State University and it’s actually a little bit older than Google, that’s 21-years-old.

"Imagine you have that curious question. You observed something in nature, you watch something on television, and what do you do?" Said Chuck Kezilek, ASU's chief technology innovation officer. "You can ask a question and, if it's around biology, if you go in and to simply google biologist or certainly ask a biologist, you'll come to our Website. You will be able to send a question to us that we promise or certainly try to get back within 72 hours.

But what kinds of questions do they get?

According to Kazilek, they get all kinds—from the mundane to the profound.

"One of my favorites is a butterfly's brain, is it the same as when it was a caterpillar? Wow. Fifth grader right?" He said. "Another one, do penguins fly? And the simple answer is oh no of course penguins don't fly. But we really need to dig into that because really they do fly. They just fly in water which is 900 times more dense than air."

Each question is shared with over 150 volunteer biologists from across the country, and they’ll answer your question in plain English.

To mark the site’s 20th anniversary, “Ask A Biologist” got a makeover and has some new features like virtual reality tours of different ecosystems and animal colonies. But the core of the website is connecting you with real answers from a real biologist.

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