Spurned by Potential Mates, Jeremy the Lefty Snail Is Still Single


Romantics like to say there’s someone out there for everyone—and for a stretch of time, this adage seemed to hold true for Jeremy the lefty garden snail. Discovered in England last year, the mollusk made global headlines after scientists noted that its rare anatomy made sex nearly impossible for the snail. A public search yielded mates with similar parts, and researchers hoped that this meant that Jeremy was destined for a happy ending. But as The Washington Post reports, Jeremy’s prospective mate ended up preferring another slimy suitor.

Most garden snails have shells that curl right, and genitals on the right side of their heads. But thanks to a genetic mutation, Jeremy’s shell goes left, as do his reproductive parts. The problem? Snails mate by lining up their bodies and swapping fluids, meaning Jeremy needed a partner with the same rare body type to properly copulate. (A note for clarity: Snails are hermaphroditic, but scientists at first chose to refer to Jeremy using male pronouns. While they've recently reconsidered that decision, we're using male pronouns for consistency's sake.)

Scientists at England’s University of Nottingham—who reported in February 2016 that they had found the gene linked to snail-shell spiral shape—wanted to study Jeremy’s genes to see if they provided clues about body asymmetry in other animals. For this effort, they needed baby Jeremys, and so they sought to locate him a like-bodied paramour.

A global search helped scientists find two other lefty mollusks, named Lefty and Tomeu, with parts that mirrored Jeremy’s. Scientists hoped that one of the two would take a liking to their lonely charge. But in a cruel twist of fate, Lefty and Tomeu preferred each other to Jeremy, and ended up getting it on.

The new couple’s first batch of eggs hatched in April, fathered by Lefty and mothered by Tomeu, and two more are on the way— one of them fathered by Tomeu and mothered by Lefty. (Remember, they're hermaphroditic.) This was bad news for Jeremy but good news for the scientists, who were playing snail matchmaker so they could study lefty snail babies. Sure enough, Lefty and Tomeu’s offspring revealed new genetic insights: Each of the hatched snails has developed a right-twisting shell, proving that "two lefts clearly make a right," one of the researchers, Angus Davison, told the Post.

That said, Davison and his colleagues are still hoping that the aging Jeremy will also get a second shot at romance: Since Lefty has been returned to his collector owner, they’re thinking that Tomeu might use him as a rebound love interest.

Want to keep up with the drama? Follow the snail on Twitter.

[h/t The Washington Post]

Roar—Tippi Hedren’s Wild Big Cat Movie From 1981—Will Soon Be Available to Stream

Tippi Hedren and Melanie Griffith with a couple of cool cats in 1982.
Tippi Hedren and Melanie Griffith with a couple of cool cats in 1982.
Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Decades before Joe Exotic amassed his frightening collection of big cats as seen in Netflix’s Tiger King, there was an even wilder personal zoo located in California—and owned by people you might already know.

Following a trip to a game preserve in Mozambique, Tippi Hedren, star of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, and her filmmaker husband, Noel Marshall, decided to produce a movie about a scientist and his family coexisting with big cats. The cast would include the couple, Marshall’s sons John and Jerry, and Hedren’s daughter Melanie Griffith (who’d later become a film star herself and the mother of another one: Fifty Shades of Grey’s Dakota Johnson). They started raising lion cubs at their Sherman Oaks house in 1971, and soon moved to a larger property in Santa Clarita. By the time they began shooting in 1976, they had 132 lions, tigers, leopards, cougars, and jaguars. And one 5-ton bull elephant named Timbo.

The film, titled Roar, was finished in 1981, but it never got a wide release in the United States. Next week, it’s getting the VOD treatment.

Entertainment Weekly reports that Alamo Drafthouse is releasing the film—along with a video Q&A with John Marshall—on Vimeo starting Wednesday, April 15, at 7 p.m. EST. For $10, you’ll be able to stream it for one week on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, and/or Chromecast. Ten percent of the profits will benefit the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation’s Pioneers Assistance Fund, which will use the money to support theater workers unemployed during the coronavirus pandemic.

If you’re hoping Roar will live up to the jaw-dropping nature of Tiger King and similar programs, you won’t be disappointed. The narrative might be fictional, but the risky encounters with the various beasts are very real.

“I am amazed no one died,” John Marshall told Entertainment Weekly. A staggering 70 members of the cast and crew sustained serious injuries on set, including Hedren, who contracted gangrene after her leg was crushed by Timbo; Griffith, who required plastic surgery after a cat clawed her face; and John Marshall, whose head was gnawed on by a lion.

While you wait to watch Roar on Wednesday night, here are 10 wild animal documentaries you can stream right now.

[h/t Entertainment Weekly]

You’re Probably Not Cleaning Your Dog’s Leash—But Here’s Why You Should Be

Tim Graham, Getty Images
Tim Graham, Getty Images

There are several items you use every day that you probably aren't cleaning enough, like your phone, your water bottle, and your pajamas. If you're a dog owner, there may be one especially filthy object in your home that you don't clean at all: your pet's leash. According to Reader's Digest, leashes get dirty fast, and if you can't remember the last time you cleaned yours, it's definitely due to be sanitized.

Leashes are just as easily soiled as anything you touch on a regular basis. Constant use causes microbes and oils from your hands to build up on the handle. And chances are, the leash is also covered with your dog's own germs, fur, and saliva, as well as mud and dirt from the outside world. This adds up to create a cocktail of nastiness on the leash that's hanging beside your front door.

The quickest way to gauge if your leash needs to be cleaned is to look at it. Is it covered with hair and splattered with mud? If yes, it should definitely be taken care of before your dog's next walk. But even a relatively neat looking leash should be cleaned about once a month. For rope and nylon leashes, let it soak in hot soapy water for 10 minutes before rinsing it and hanging it to dry. Scrubbing with a soft nylon brush may be necessary for tougher messes like stains and caked-on grime. Some leashes can also be safely cleaned in the washing machine in a delicates bag. If your dog's leash gets dirty quickly, you may want to invest in a few extras so you aren't constantly washing the one you have.

If you're looking for cleaning projects, disinfecting the items around your home that you've been neglecting is an excellent time-killer. From pillows to shower heads, here's how often you should be washing common household items.

[h/t Reader's Digest]