Halloween Is Over, but You Can Still Own a Werewolf Cat

You may have shelved your Halloween costume and eaten all the leftover candy, but you can still keep the season’s spooky spirit alive by adopting a “werewolf cat.” Yes, these cats actually exist—although they’re technically a new breed called Lykoi, which comes from the word "lycanthrope.”

With spare, patchy fur that’s missing in swathes, the kitties look like extras from Wes Craven’s 2005 film Cursed. Their unearthly appearance is caused by a mutant gene variation that occurs naturally in the wild cat population. The anomaly makes it so that Lykoi’s hair follicles are unable to produce or maintain hair—meaning they’re missing the majority of their undercoat, and have balding spots on their faces or near their paws.

According to Nautilus, the mutation has existed for years. However, feline fanciers only recently created the Lykoi breed, over the past half-decade, from two litters of cats discovered in Tennessee and Virginia. The gene that causes the hair loss is likely recessive, so breeding Lyokis is often a bit of a gamble. Therefore, very few of them currently exist. 

Although the cats look sickly, researchers say that no tests so far have indicated that they have any physical problems. (They do, however, need a reliable heat source thanks to their sparse coats, as well as baths to prevent oil build-up.) Many cat breeds—like sphinxes, for example—have been bred from a select few animals that were born with rare mutations. However, since the breed is so new, no Lykoi kitties have lived long enough to confirm a clean bill of health. This means the jury’s still out on their strength. The breed is also controversial in some circles, since some animal-lovers fear that the cats will become trendy only to be later forgotten about and abandoned. 

Currently, there are so few cats in the world that qualify as “standard” Lykois that the price for a kitten—once you get off the waitlist, that is—is as high as $2500. That’s a lot to pay for an animal that the Cat Fanciers Association hasn't even recognized as a breed. However, Lykois are apparently affectionate, with "dog-like" personalities, so at least you’ll be getting some quality companionship.

[h/t Nautilus]



Turn Your LEGO Bricks Into a Drone With the Flybrix Drone Kit


Now more than ever, it’s important to have a good hobby. Of course, a lot of people—maybe even you—have been obsessed with learning TikTok dances and baking sourdough bread for the last few months, but those hobbies can wear out their welcome pretty fast. So if you or someone you love is looking for something that’s a little more intellectually stimulating, you need to check out the Flybrix LEGO drone kit from Fat Brain Toys.

What is a Flybrix LEGO Drone Kit?

The Flybrix drone kit lets you build your own drones out of LEGO bricks and fly them around your house using your smartphone as a remote control (via Bluetooth). The kit itself comes with absolutely everything you need to start flying almost immediately, including a bag of 56-plus LEGO bricks, a LEGO figure pilot, eight quick-connect motors, eight propellers, a propeller wrench, a pre-programmed Flybrix flight board PCB, a USB data cord, a LiPo battery, and a USB LiPo battery charger. All you’ll have to do is download the Flybrix Configuration Software, the Bluetooth Flight Control App, and access online instructions and tutorials.

Experiment with your own designs.

The Flybrix LEGO drone kit is specifically designed to promote exploration and experimentation. All the components are tough and can totally withstand a few crash landings, so you can build and rebuild your own drones until you come up with the perfect design. Then you can do it all again. Try different motor arrangements, add your own LEGO bricks, experiment with different shapes—this kit is a wannabe engineer’s dream.

For the more advanced STEM learners out there, Flybrix lets you experiment with coding and block-based coding. It uses an arduino-based hackable circuit board, and the Flybrix app has advanced features that let you try your hand at software design.

Who is the Flybrix LEGO Drone Kit for?

Flybrix is a really fun way to introduce a number of core STEM concepts, which makes it ideal for kids—and technically, that’s who it was designed for. But because engineering and coding can get a little complicated, the recommended age for independent experimentation is 13 and up. However, kids younger than 13 can certainly work on Flybrix drones with the help of their parents. In fact, it actually makes a fantastic family hobby.

Ready to start building your own LEGO drones? Click here to order your Flybrix kit today for $198.

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A Prehistoric Great White Shark Nursery Has Been Discovered in Chile

Great white sharks used prehistoric nurseries to protect their young.
Great white sharks used prehistoric nurseries to protect their young.
solarseven/iStock via Getty Images

Great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) may be one of the most formidable and frightening apex predators on the planet today, but life for them isn’t as easy as horror movies would suggest. Due to a slow growth rate and the fact that they produce few offspring, the species is listed as vulnerable to extinction.

There is a way these sharks ensure survival, and that is by creating nurseries—a designated place where great white shark babies (called pups) are protected from other predators. Now, researchers at the University of Vienna and colleagues have discovered these nurseries occurred in prehistoric times.

In a study published in the journal Scientific Reports, Jamie A. Villafaña from the university’s Institute of Palaeontology describes a fossilized nursery found in Coquimbo, Chile. Researchers were examining a collection of fossilized great white shark teeth between 5 and 2 million years old along the Pacific coast of Chile and Peru when they noticed a disproportionate number of young shark teeth in Coquimbo. There was also a total lack of sexually mature animals' teeth, which suggests the site was used primarily by pups and juveniles as a nursery.

Though modern great whites are known to guard their young in designated areas, the researchers say this is the first example of a paleo-nursery. Because the climate was much warmer when the paleo-nursery was in use, the researchers think these protective environments can deepen our understanding of how great white sharks can survive global warming trends.