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5 Fictional Bears and Whether They'd Kill You

From docile to deadly, we’ve ranked our favorite fictional bears by your likelihood of surviving an unplanned run-in with them.

1. PADDINGTON BEAR (ANDEAN BEAR)

The only bears native to Paddington’s home country of Peru, Andeans are docile omnivores. When they see (or smell) a human, their first move is to bolt up a tree. Unless you’re packing one of Paddington’s marmalade sandwiches, you’re probably in the clear.

2. SMOKEY (AMERICAN BLACK BEAR)

Smoke the Bear

Jim, The Photographer, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Unlike their grizzly cousins, black bears are pretty timid. Smokey might charge if he felt threatened or thought you were starting a forest fire, but it would be a bluff to make you run away. Fight back and you’ll probably live ... to tell the coolest story ever.

3. BALOO (SLOTH BEAR)

Baloo Jungle Book
Walt Disney Company

The lovable bear from The Jungle Book is secretly into torture. Rather than killing victims outright, sloth bears chew their human prey’s limbs into what wildlife texts describe as “a perfect pulp.” Really adds a dark subtext to “The Bear Necessities,” doesn’t it?

4. LITTLE BEAR (GRIZZLY BEAR)

Little Bear
Nickelodeon Network

Grizzly bears are notoriously defensive and territorial. Should you encounter Little Bear in the wilds around his quaint country cottage, your best bet is to play dead until he determines you’re no longer a threat. Don’t get bold and try to fight back. You will not win.

5. RUPERT BEAR (LET'S SAY HE'S A POLAR BEAR)

Rupert Bear
Corus Entertainment

Don't be fooled by Rupert's fine British manners and garish golf pants. Unlike most bear species, polar bears are carnivorous. When a hungry male goes after you, he's in it to win it. Fortunately, encountering these guys is rare because you don't live in the Arctic.

This article originally appeared in mental_floss magazine.

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Animals
This Is the Age When Puppies Reach 'Peak Cuteness'
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iStock

All puppies are cute, but at some point in a young dog's life, it goes from "It's so cute I could squeeze it to death" to merely regular cute. But when? According to one recent study in the journal Anthrozoös, peak cuteness hits between 6 and 8 weeks old for many dogs, The Washington Post reports.

Finding out when puppies reach their peak attractiveness to humans may give us insights into how domestic dogs evolved. Researchers from the University of Florida asked 51 students at the school to look at 39 black-and-white images of dogs, who belonged to three different breeds and whose ages ranged from birth to 8 months. The viewers then rated them on a sliding scale of squishability.

The results will sound familiar to dog lovers. Puppies aren't entirely adorable immediately after they're born—they can look a little rat-like—and the participants rated them accordingly. As dogs get older, as much as we might love them, their squee-worthy cuteness declines, as the attractiveness scores reflected. The sweet spot, it turns out, is right around when puppies are being weaned, or between 6 and 8 weeks old.

The participants tended to rate dogs as most attractive when the pups were within the first 10 weeks of their lives. According to the results, Cane Corsos were at their cutest around 6.3 weeks old, Jack Russell terriers at 7.7 weeks old, and white shepherds at 8.3 weeks.

The study only used still photos of a few breeds, and it's possible that with a more diverse sample, the time of peak cuteness might vary a bit. Certain puppies might be cuter at an older age, and certain puppies might be cuter when they're even younger. But weaning age happens to coincide with the time when puppies are no longer getting as much support from their mothers, and are thus at a high risk of mortality. By evolving to attract human support at a time when they're most vulnerable, puppies might have boosted their chance at survival until they were old enough to completely take care of themselves.

[h/t The Washington Post]

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Martin Wittfooth
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Art
The Cat Art Show Is Coming Back to Los Angeles in June
Martin Wittfooth
Martin Wittfooth

After dazzling cat and art lovers alike in 2014 and again in 2016, the Cat Art Show is ready to land in Los Angeles for a third time. The June exhibition, dubbed Cat Art Show 3: The Sequel Returns Again, will feature feline-centric works from such artists as Mark Ryden, Ellen von Unwerth, and Marion Peck.

Like past shows, this one will explore cats through a variety of themes and media. “The enigmatic feline has been a source of artistic inspiration for thousands of years,” the show's creator and curator Susan Michals said in a press release. “One moment they can be a best friend, the next, an antagonist. They are the perfect subject matter, and works of art, all by themselves.”

While some artists have chosen straightforward interpretations of the starring subject, others are using cats as a springboard into topics like gender, politics, and social media. The sculpture, paintings, and photographs on display will be available to purchase, with prices ranging from $300 to $150,000.

Over 9000 visitors are expected to stop into the Think Tank Gallery in Los Angeles during the show's run from June 14 to June 24. Tickets to the show normally cost $5, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting a cat charity, and admission will be free for everyone on Wednesday, June 20. Check out a few of the works below.

Man in Garfield mask holding cat.
Tiffany Sage

Painting of kitten.
Brandi Milne

Art work of cat in tree.
Kathy Taselitz

Painting of white cat.
Rose Freymuth-Frazier

A cat with no eyes.
Rich Hardcastle

Painting of a cat on a stool.
Vanessa Stockard

Sculpture of pink cat.
Scott Hove

Painting of cat.
Yael Hoenig

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