Like everyone else, I’m juggling a little bit of this and a little bit of that these days.

Figuratively, I mean. As opposed to otters, who can be found literally juggling rocks.

They use the rocks to crack open some of their favorite seafood, but they also bat the rocks in the air, slide them from paw to paw, and nudge them off the tops of their heads.

It’s a sight to see.

Some actually choose favorite rocks that they carry around with them wherever they go, storing them in pockets of fur.

We know what they do with these rocks; we just don’t fully know why they do it.

A team from the University of Exeter has been trying to answer that question, and while they haven’t found the full answer, they’ve at least ruled out a few things.

They wanted to see if the rock juggling was a way otters could essentially practice their techniques for breaking open and eating foods like clams and mussels.

But the otters that juggled the most weren’t any more likely to solve the food-based puzzles they created than the other otters.

Juvenile otters and older otters juggled more often than adults, but, of course, adult otters often have babies to raise, so work-life balance might be getting in the way.

They did find that otters who were hungry juggled more, so maybe these adorable furballs just get so excited about mealtimes that they lose control and start juggling.

Meanwhile: did you hear the one about the juggler who failed calculus? Yeah, the math was over his head.

The city of Juneau, Alaska was looking to connect with its residents even while everyone is staying apart.

But they did it in a slightly offbeat way: they set up a joke hotline!

It’s not the most obvious municipal service ever offered, but apparently a popular one.

A day after the hotline opened, it crashed because of high demand.

I guess these days, as one city worker put it, “people just need a laugh.”

Otters juggle stones when hungry (Science Daily)

City of Juneau started a joke hotline to cheer people up. High demand might have knocked it offline. (Anchorage Daily News)

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Otter photo by Mark Dumont via Flickr/Creative Commons