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Hear Sir David Attenborough Reflect on His Prolific Career

Naturalist, television host, and all-around treasure Sir David Attenborough turned 90 on May 8, and the BBC appropriately rolled out the broadcasting equivalent of a red carpet with a series of programs honoring his past and present work.

Among them was Attenborough at 90, a one-hour interview with the man himself. While that particular interview is geo-blocked for those of us outside of the United Kingdom, the BBC did post a five-minute interview with Attenborough on YouTube, which you can watch above.

In it, Attenborough talks about his approach to work, how much things have changed in his decades-long career. You can see footage from his upcoming Life That Glows show about bioluminescence, as well as never-before-seen footage from his 1954 show, Zoo Quest, displayed in glorious color. That footage shows a very young (and may we say, very handsome) Attenborough—a visage he still connects with, even at 90; Attenborough says, “That’s what I think I look like. And when I get up in the morning and I see that my hair is grey and my face is haggard, or one thing or another, I don’t say ‘Oh that’s what you look like now,’ I say, ‘Oh that’s a bad morning. You know you really look like that young boy who’s running around bare to the waist and wrestling with pythons.’”

In celebration of the big day, the BBC also made a few delightful stop-motion animations to pair with footage from Attenborough’s career, in which you can see him meet gorillas, a lyrebird, and penguins.

[h/t The Kid Should See This]

Banner image credit: BBC // YouTube

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Big Questions
Why Do Cats Freak Out After Pooping?
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Cats often exhibit some very peculiar behavior, from getting into deadly combat situations with their own tail to pouncing on unsuspecting humans. Among their most curious habits: running from their litter box like a greyhound after moving their bowels. Are they running from their own fecal matter? Has waste elimination prompted a sense of euphoria?

Experts—if anyone is said to qualify as an expert in post-poop moods—aren’t exactly sure, but they’ve presented a number of entertaining theories. From a biological standpoint, some animal behaviorists suspect that a cat bolting after a deposit might stem from fears that a predator could track them based on the smell of their waste. But researchers are quick to note that they haven’t observed cats run from their BMs in the wild.

Biology also has a little bit to do with another theory, which postulates that cats used to getting their rear ends licked by their mother after defecating as kittens are showing off their independence by sprinting away, their butts having taken on self-cleaning properties in adulthood.

Not convinced? You might find another idea more plausible: Both humans and cats have a vagus nerve running from their brain stem. In both species, the nerve can be stimulated by defecation, leading to a pleasurable sensation and what some have labeled “poo-phoria,” or post-poop elation. In running, the cat may simply be working off excess energy brought on by stimulation of the nerve.

Less interesting is the notion that notoriously hygienic cats may simply want to shake off excess litter or fecal matter by running a 100-meter dash, or that a digestive problem has led to some discomfort they’re attempting to flee from. The fact is, so little research has been done in the field of pooping cat mania that there’s no universally accepted answer. Like so much of what makes cats tick, a definitive motivation will have to remain a mystery.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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Animals
Listen to the Impossibly Adorable Sounds of a Baby Sloth
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RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/GettyImages

Sometimes baby sloths seem almost too adorable to be real. But the little muppet-faced treasures don't just look cute—turns out they sound cute, too. We know what you're thinking: How could you have gone your whole life without knowing what these precious creatures sound like? Well, fear not: Just in time for International Sloth Day (today), we have some footage of how the tiny mammals express themselves—and it's a lot of squeaking. (Or maybe that's you squealing?)

The sloths featured in the heart-obliterating video below come from the Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica. The institution rescues orphaned sloths, rehabilitates them, and gets them ready to be released back into the wild.

[h/t The Kid Should See This]

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