Raccoon Food-washing Habits: Making Mealtime a Tactile Experience If raccoons are near water, they'll dunk their food in it as though to wash it. Peter Weimann/Picture Press/Getty Images In the London study that first examined raccoon food-washing habits, the 10 animals "washed" meat more often than plants, but didn't rinse off dirty earthworms [source: Lyall-Watson]. Even if no water was available, the captive raccoons would move their forepaws in the same way they would if they were actually dousing the food item. To the researchers, this behavior indicated that the raccoons weren't intentionally cleaning their food before eating. But that doesn't mean it's a useless gesture — removing dirt from their meals is merely a beneficial byproduct of the action. Initially, scientists conjectured that raccoons lacked saliva glands and needed to add moisture, making it easier for them to eat [source: Zeveloff]. Instead, study results have indicated that the behavior enhances … [Read more...] about Why Do Raccoons Wash Their Food?
Hand washing experiment
Mother and daughter quadrupeds head out for the day, equipped with their specialty backpacks Chris Cox/HowStuffWorks Believe it or not, the human spine wasn't built for vertical use. Vertebrates have been around for 500 million years, but primates that walk upright — aka the hominin clade, of which we Homo sapiens are the only extant species — took the first steps 6 million years ago. We became fully bipedal only 1.9 million years ago. In other words, the vertical spine has been in use for only 0.38 percent of vertebrates' existence. Our hominid ancestors hacked its inherently horizontal design. They insisted on standing to appear larger, to quickly cover open landscapes, to widen their views beyond others' butts, and most importantly, free their hands. As a result, our spines don't function in the way they were originally intended, even with the evolutionary workarounds (wider hips, stronger knees). And it's compounded by our chair-sitting lifestyle. Hence the … [Read more...] about Thought Experiment: What If We Stopped Walking Upright?
5 Neat Things Jolie Kerr is a cleaning expert, advice columnist and the host of the podcast “[Ask a Clean Person](https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/ask-a-clean-person/id996183661?i=1000382315226&mt=2).” Each week, she’ll round up five essential cleaning products, tools and organizational systems to help you live your tidiest lives. No one, no matter how on point their summer body is, likes shopping for bathing suits. They’re expensive, and trying them on is a fluorescent-lit nightmare. It’s enough to make anyone crazy/adopt a kaftan-as-beachwear signature look. But, realistically, most of us are going to stick with bathing suits as swimwear, tempting though the kaftan-as-beachwear signature look may be, which means that making them last a long, long time — so as to spare you having to buy a new one — is a good thing to do. Here are five products that will help you extend the life of your suits and get many future summers worth of wear … [Read more...] about Five Products That Will Make Your Bathing Suits Last Forever
Surprisingly, the 2018 Honey Smacks recall wasn't the first outbreak of salmonella in cereal. Carol Yepes/Moment/Getty Images The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stepped up its warning in July about Kellogg's Honey Smacks cereal, even after Kellogg's recalled the cereal in June. A salmonella outbreak that had infected 100 people in 33 states (at the time of publication), prompted the CDC to boldly say, "do not eat any Kellogg's Honey Smacks cereal. ... Even if some of the cereal has been eaten and no one got sick, throw the rest of it away or return it for a refund." The recall had us wondering how salmonella got into cereal. Isn't it mostly found in eggs and chickens? Salmonella is a type of bacteria — and there are many strains — that usually live in animal intestines. It's one of the more common causes of foodborne illnesses, usually associated with animal foods, such as meat and dairy products, but it can find its way into dry food like cereal, too. … [Read more...] about How Salmonella Can Wind Up in Your Breakfast Cereal
Jelena Danilovic/Thinkstock With so many germs flying about this time of year it can be tricky to figure out what ails you. Take this quiz to test your cold versus flu IQ! Start Quiz » You scored 0 out of 10 Question 1 of 10 Which of the following symptoms is only rarely associated with a cold? stuffy nose sore throat fever Although fever is a common issue with those suffering from the flu, it's hardly ever present with a cold. Question 2 of 10 Who really needs to see a doctor if they have the flu? No one. You'll get better on your own. Everyone should, just to be safe. It depends on your age and what other illnesses you may have. Most healthy people will recover from the flu on their own inside of two weeks. People with weakened immune systems, chronic conditions or who are pregnant, as well as those under 5 and over 65 should see a physician. Question 3 of 10 Are colds and flu both viral illnesses? yes Cold and flu are both … [Read more...] about What’s the difference between flu and a cold?