Animoto.com and Biology

My first ‘animoto’ video. Its on the ‘World of plants’ topic. See if the images remind you of all the stuff we covered in this topic. I’m not sure how to embed this video into our blog so excuse this link. us follow the link and click on the play button. You can maximise the screen. I will start to build up a collection on our GLOW page
Make your own video on www.animoto.com

If I can do it, anyone can !

 For Miss Bloomer’s S3 Biology Class:
Read the article below (from BBC News website) and leave a comment explaining your thoughts – do you agree or disagree with this article?
Grey squirrel cull bounties urged

Grey squirrel

The MSP said bounties would offer an incentive to cut numbers

Bounties should be paid for the shooting or trapping of grey squirrels, according to a Conservative MSP.Murdo Fraser said consideration must be given to such measures to preserve numbers of native red squirrels.

The party’s deputy leader said that only suitably qualified people with shotgun licences, like gamekeepers, would get the money.

However, an animal protection group said the proposal would lead to “carnage in the countryside”.

Scotland is reported to be home to more than 75% of the UK’s red squirrel population. However, they have been under threat of being displaced by the non-native grey.

Grey squirrels compete for food with the red squirrels and can carry a virus which kills them.

Should grey squirrels be culled to preserve red numbers?
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

Scottish Natural Heritage has announced plans for a cull in areas including the north east, Argyll, Loch Lomond and the Highlands, where reds are most under threat; and grey squirrels are being shot on sight by patrols in the Borders.

Bounties have previously been paid in the UK but the system was abandoned in the 1950s because of abuse.

Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Mr Fraser said the smaller population could be wiped out unless action is taken and a bounty of a few pounds per grey should be on offer.

He has lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament seeking the backing of fellow MSPs for his proposal.

He said: “Scotland’s red squirrel is now under serious threat from a foreign invader.

“Areas such as Perthshire and Angus are now the frontline for the red squirrel and we are seeing their numbers under threat in these areas.”

This is an absolutely ridiculous idea and it would lead to carnage in the countryside
Ross Minett
Advocates for Animals

On the proposal for bounties, he said: “It may seem like a drastic step, but the seriousness of the current situation cannot be underestimated.

“Paying bounties to gamekeepers and others to eradicate the grey squirrel in areas where they threaten red squirrels would be a positive and imaginative step to try and tackle this serious issue.”

Ross Minett, director of Advocates for Animals, said: “This is an absolutely ridiculous idea and it would lead to carnage in the countryside with every man and his dog out to raise cash from the killing of squirrels.

“Mr Fraser obviously hasn’t studied ecology because if he had he would realise that the grey squirrel is here to stay and killing them in vast numbers is not going to remove them.

“It would be a complete waste of time and taxpayers’ money.”

For Miss Bloomer’s S3 Biology class:
Read the passage below (from BBC News website) and leave a comment explaining your thoughts on why the birth rate in Scotland is falling so dramatically.
Scots birth rate hits all-time low
baby - generic

Birth rates are falling in Scotland

The birth rate in Scotland has fallen to the lowest level since records began almost 150 years ago.Women north of the border are having fewer children and having them later in life, according to the annual report by Registrar General John Randall.

He identified the falling birth rate as a major factor in the decline of the Scottish population.

Deaths now exceed births and this is a major factor in explaining why Scotland’s population has declined

John Randall
Registrar General

Last month figures from the 2001 census showed that Scotland’s population had fallen by 2% in the last 20 years.

Mr Randall’s report said that the Scottish population stood at 5,064,011 last year.

He said this made it the only part of the UK with a declining population – a trend which is expected to continue.

“There are indications that factors which have affected demographic change in Scotland for many decades may now be changing,” said Mr Randall.

“For example, net emigration from Scotland in recent years has been much lower than in the 1960s or even the 1980s.

Births registered

“And a declining birth rate means that deaths now exceed births and this is a major factor in explaining why Scotland’s population has declined or increased less strongly than in other countries.”

He added that the Scottish population was getting older.

The report also revealed that the number of children north of the border has reached a new low.

John Randall

John Randall: Changes in demographics

Last year 52,527 births were registered – the lowest number since civil registration began in 1855.

The number of women over the age of 30 giving birth rose from 23% in 1981 to 48% in 2001.

More than 43% of children were born outside marriage.

The number of deaths in Scotland last year was also at the lowest level since 1855, falling from 57,797 in 2000 to 57,382 in 2001.

Cancer and heart disease were the two most common causes of death, although the number of fatalities from heart disease has fallen by almost 30% over the last decade.

Despite the falling death rate in Scotland, it is still among the highest in both Britain and the European Union.

Divorce rate

The birth rate is close to the European average, but lower than any other part of the UK.

It is predicted that the average life expectancy of boys born in 2001 will be 73.4, while girls can expect to live until they are 78.8.

Mr Randall’s report also showed that the number of divorces fell to 10,631 in 2001 – the lowest number since 1982.

However, the number of marriages also fell, from 30,367 in 2000 to 30,058 last year.

The average age of people getting wed for the first time was 31 for men and 29 for women – both showing an increase of about four years in since 1991.

The General Register Office for Scotland is the Scottish Executive department responsible for the registration of births, marriages, deaths, divorces and adoptions.

Click on this link and follow the site all the way through. Its a great revision resource for this topic…


You are about to start work on the genetics topic. Have a look at the following web-link. Read the information, and leave your comments below.



As the header above says, the S4 Biology prelims are fast approaching…..
Don’t leave all your revision until the last minute, start putting in the effort now. you should all be trying to stick to a revision timetable and doing a little everyday. these prelims are important as we have to estimate your grades for the summer using the prelim papers you complete. Should we need to appeal your summer results ( in the case of illness, for example) the prelim result forms the basis of this appeal. So get it right first time.

The biology study night is on November 19th at the Burnside hotel. Last years students found this a great revision aid, particularly with problem-solving activities. We hope to see as many of you as possible there on the night.

The biology homework club runs on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at lunchtime. Ask your Biology teacher for details of times and rooms, or come along to the science base and ask. Check that you can dial in to the school system and access all the biology resources that are stored in the Biology folders. There are revision powerpoints and summary notes for each topic, as well as podcasts, all of which can be downloaded and used for revision. we also have a limited supply of MP3 players loaded with the podcasts which you can sign out.

Time is fleeting and the clock is running. Don’t run out of time to ask for help. Thats what we’re here for….

Kiwi fruit DNA

Class 1a1 did an experiment last week as part of their reproduction topic. Their task was to extract some DNA from Kiwi fruits. Read all about their experiences and thoughts on this experiment by clicking here…