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Jan. 3, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Philip Michaels couldn’t have asked for a better reaction when he brought a puppy home from a shelter for his father for Christmas. Michaels writes on YouTube that his dad was heartbroken when the family’s 15-year-old Maltese died about six months ago. With Christmas around the corner, Michaels and his mother returned to the same place where they adopted their last dog, and there they found a Havanese-Maltese mix puppy for his dad. Thinking he was coming outside to unload groceries from the car, his son caught his priceless reaction to the puppy surprise on video. The Queens, N.Y., family named the pup Monty — and the sweet video has been watched about 450,000 times in less than two days. — Watch it on YouTube
While most humans might be more likely to share with someone they know, the very social great apes who live in the Congo, bonobos, would rather share their food with a stranger, a new study finds. Why? "They're trying to extend their social network,” said researcher Brian Hare, a professor of evolutionary anthropology at Duke University. But if they’re not going to get something out of it, they’ll keep their food for themselves, he added. The study was published in the online journal PLOS ONE. — Read it at Science Daily
Cathelicidin-AM, which can kill bacteria in less than an hour, was found to be a primary component in the giant panda’s blood during a DNA analysis. Other well-known antibiotics would take six hours to do the same thing. Scientists at the Life Sciences College of Nanjing Agricultural University in China were able to synthesize the compound artificially in a lab. Researchers think the endangered animals have the powerful agent in their blood to protect them from infection in the wild. — Read it at Discovery News
ABC’s Robin Roberts rang in 2013 with a special reunion. The Good Morning America host had to be separated from her Jack Russell Terrier, K.J., while she recovered from a bone marrow transplant in her battle against a rare blood disorder called Myelodysplastic Syndrome. After reaching a critical milestone of 100 days after the procedure, her immune system was finally strong enough for her to have her pup back home last weekend. "Look who made it back for my 100 day celebration," she Tweeted with a photo of herself and K.J. "We just keep staring at each [other] … can't believe she's finally home." She later Tweeted another photo of K.J. snuggling on her leg. “So happy to have the lil girl back.” — Read it at People Pets
Photojournalist Robin Loznak doesn’t have to go far to find subjects for his nature images. Most of them come from his small town of Roseburg, Ore. — and many are taken right on his own ranch. From a meme-worthy chicken crossing the road to a pair of wild river otters, he shared his favorite wildlife images from 2012 with NBC. — See photos at Today
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