Sloths are capable of incredible feats: They can honk, produce physics-defying poops, and thrive on an all-leaf diet. As TED-Ed lays out in the video above, the latter is harder than it sounds. As a result of their low-energy food source, three-toed sloths have evolved to have the slowest metabolism of any animal. So don’t call their lethargic lifestyle lazy—it’s actually a clever survival adaptation at work.
When it comes to sushi, fresh is usually best. Most of the sushi we eat in America is haya-nare, which involves raw seafood and vinegared rice. But in Japan, there's an older form of sushi—said to be the original form—called funazushi. It's made from fermented carp sourced from one particular place, Lake Biwa, and takes about three years to produce from start to finish. The salt it's cured with keeps the bad bacteria at bay, and the result is said to taste like a fish version of prosciutto. Great Big Story recently caught up with Mariko Kitamura, the 18th generation to run her family’s shop in Takashima City, where she's one of the very few people left producing funazushi. You can learn more about the process behind the delicacy, and about Kitamura, in the video below.
Koko the gorilla passed away at the age of 46 this week. Though she was best known for her use of sign language, her love of cats is what made her a media darling.
In 1983, the western lowland gorilla reportedly told trainer Penny Patterson that she wanted a cat. Patterson and her fellow researchers at The Gorilla Foundation supported this idea, hoping that caring for a cat might prepare Koko for motherhood.
They gave Koko a lifelike stuffed animal and after she ignored that gift, she was given a gray kitten for her birthday in July 1984. Koko rejoiced. She named the cat All Ball and carried him around like a baby. All Ball got out of Koko's cage and was hit by a car just a few months later. Trainer Penny Patterson shared the news with Koko, who, Patterson said, began crying. “Sleep cat,” she reportedly signed.
For Koko's 44th birthday in 2015, Patterson let her pick out two new pets from a litter of kittens. The result was as cute as you might expect.