Ask mr Brain...all will be explained

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 March, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 24 March, 2000, 12:00am

What is the planet Mars like? We know a little bit about Mars, although there is much to find out. There are craters and canyons, dunes and volcanoes. The southern part of Mars has many more craters than the northern part.

A year on Mars is equivalent to 687 Earth days.

The atmosphere is mostly made up of carbon dioxide, and the soil is rich in iron, magnesium and calcium.

Mars also has a southern ice cap made of frozen carbon dioxide. It has other patches of frozen carbon dioxide on the planet during Martian winters. Its northern ice cap is made of frozen water.

How can I grow bananas? Do they have seeds? Those little black things at the centre of the banana are seeds. The only problem is, they are sterile seeds, which means they will not produce any bananas.

In order to grow more bananas, you have to plant a runner, or 'sucker', as it is called. The sucker is cut from a growth the banana stalk puts out.

It takes about a month for leaves to grow. After about 10 months, a bud develops, and flowers emerge. Bananas will develop from the flowers.

Why does a rattlesnake have a rattle? Nobody knows exactly, but the rattle may serve as protection against animals that might tramp on the snake. The rattle is make of modified hollow segment in the tail tip.

A new rattle is added every time the snake sheds its skin. The hollow segments make a noise when they rub against each other.

These rattling segments are made of keratin, just like human fingernails and hair.