Want to Get Back at Your Ex? Name a Cockroach After Them And Watch a Meerkat Eat It on Valentine's Day

iStock.com/THEGIFT777
iStock.com/THEGIFT777

Cockroaches have become the unofficial mascot of Valentine's Day at a handful of U.S. zoos. At the Bronx Zoo in New York, you can pay to name a Madagascar hissing cockroach after your beloved in celebration of the holiday ("give the gift that's eternal," they advertise). This year, the El Paso Zoo in Texas is offering a similar promotion, but with an unromantic twist: Ask them and they'll name a cockroach after your ex before feeding it to a meerkat on Valentine's Day, CBS News reports.

The El Paso Zoo writes on Facebook that their Quit Bugging Me event is "the perfect Valentine's Day gift." Message the zoo your ex's name on Facebook, and starting February 11, their first name and last initial will be displayed on social media and outside the meerkat exhibit.

On February 14, the unlucky bugs will be fed to the zoo's meerkats as part of their daily enrichment activities. Even if you don't feel compelled to get petty vengeance on an ex, you can still participate by watching a live stream of the event at 2:15 p.m. Mountain Time.

Zoos aren't the only places offering the public offbeat ways to celebrate Valentine's Day. The Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in Brooklyn gives free tours around the holiday, and White Castle accepts Valentine's reservations for full-service dinners.

[h/t CBS News]

Middle School Student Discovers Megalodon Tooth Fossil on Spring Break

iStock.com/Mark Kostich
iStock.com/Mark Kostich

A few million years ago, the megalodon was the most formidable shark in the sea, with jaws spanning up to 11 feet wide and a stronger bite than a T. Rex. Today the only things left of the supersized sharks are fossils, and a middle school student recently discovered one on a trip to the beach, WECT reports.

Avery Fauth was spending spring break with her family at North Topsail Beach in North Carolina when she noticed something buried in the sand. She dug it up and uncovered a shark tooth the length of her palm. She immediately knew she had found something special, and screamed to get her family's attention.

Her father recognized the megalodon tooth: He had been searching for one for 25 years and had even taught his three daughters to scour the sand for shark teeth whenever they went to the beach. Avery and her sisters found a few more shark teeth that day from great whites, but her megalodon fossil was by far the most impressive treasure from the outing.

Megalodons dominated seas for 20 million years before suddenly dying out 3 million years ago. They grew between 43 and 82 feet long and had teeth that were up to 7.5 inches long—over twice the size of a great white's teeth. They're thought to be the largest sharks that ever lived.

Megalodon teeth have been discovered on every continent except Antarctica, but they're still a rare find. Avery Fauth plans to keep her fossil in a special box at home.

[h/t WECT]

Watch the Denver Zoo’s New Baby Sloth Cuddle Up With Its Mom

Denver Zoo
Denver Zoo

If you’re a sucker for itty, bitty, furry animals, then you’ll want to drop whatever it is you’re doing and check out this video of the Denver Zoo’s newest resident. Uploaded by The Denver Post, the video shows a week-old sloth clinging to its mother, and it’s almost too cute to handle.

The healthy baby, whose name and sex have not yet been determined, was born on April 11 to its proud sloth parents: 23-year-old Charlotte Greenie and 28-year-old Elliot. It also has an older sister, named Baby Ruth, who was born in January of last year. Dad and Baby Ruth are “temporarily off-exhibit” to give mom and her newborn baby the chance to rest and bond in their habitat—an indoor aviary that's part of the zoo's Bird World exhibit.

The baby belongs to one of six species of sloth called the Linne's two-toed sloth, which is native to the rainforests of South America and are not currently considered threatened. Unlike their distant relatives the three-toed sloths, two-toed sloths are mostly nocturnal creatures. They also tend to move faster than their three-clawed counterparts, although fast is putting it generously.

Like many things sloths do, the baby was slow to arrive. Zoo officials predicted that Charlotte would give birth as early as January, but the expected due date may have been a miscalculation.

“Sloth due dates are notoriously challenging to predict because sloths are primarily active at night and we rarely observe their breeding,” the zoo said in a statement. “Our animal care team closely monitored Charlotte for months to ensure that she and the baby were healthy and gaining the appropriate amount of weight.”

The baby is expected to cling to its mother for at least six months. Zoo officials say the best time to visit mom and baby is in the late afternoon, when Charlotte is more likely to be active.

[h/t The Denver Post]

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