Up-close views of Typton carneus‘s shear-like tools.
In Hansel and Gretel, two ravenous children stumble upon a house made entirely of sugary goodness, and begin to chow down with abandon. But the kids’ journey quickly turns sour, as the owner of the house, a wicked witch, tries to cook them for dinner.
While the story seems to be a cautionary tale, it turns out that finding and living in an edible house can actually be pretty sweet—at least in the animal kingdom. Researchers in Prague have now learned that some tiny shrimp in the Belize Barrier Reef dine on fire sponges, their homes, by first tearing off pieces of tissue with claws not unlike those of Edward Scissorhands.
One of the great scientific questions has finally been answered: Can grizzly bears dance? Yes—and rather well, thank you very much. Researchers from the USGS have released video footage taken during the past two years of grizzly and black bears shimmying against tree trunks in Northwest Montana as if the very soundtrack of Saturday Night Fever was playing in the background.
Okay, these beasts are not really dancing. The bears (males primarily) are leaving their chemical “signature” behind on so-called rub trees to communicate with other males and avoid turf wars while searching for breeding females. Investigators recorded at 16 different sites in Glacier National Park and plan to use the footage to better understand bear behavior and improve experimental methods. Dance-off, anyone?