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Jan. 7, 2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Zoey Chandler returned home Saturday night to find flames coming from her Norfolk, Virginia, apartment. Eleven people in four apartments were safely evacuated, but Chandler didn’t know if her Chihuahua, Taffy, was able to escape. Local news crews were at the scene of the destruction Sunday morning and captured the moment when Taffy came running across a parking lot to her grateful owner. “Oh my God, baby. I thought I lost you,” Chandler said, hugging the small dog. “I lost everything, but I got my baby …I’ve been looking for my dog all morning, and I thought she got caught up in the fire, but I didn’t give up. I walked high and low for my dog.” — Watch it at Virginia’s WAVY
Mathematicians and geneticists from the Universities of Bath and Edinburgh have found that the distinctive piebald patches in black and white cats and other animals move and multiply randomly during early development in the womb. That contradicts a previous theory that the patterns form because pigment cells move too slowly to reach all parts of the embryo before it’s fully formed. “Using a mathematical model we were then able to show that this simple process could explain piebald patterns,” said lead study author Dr. Richard Mort. The research could help scientists better understand conditions that are linked to early cell development. The study was published in the journal Nature Communications. — Read it at Phys.org
A nursery for juvenile sand tiger sharks has been found in the bustling near shore waters of Long Island, New York’s Green South Bay, say scientists at the Wildlife Conservation Society's New York Aquarium. The sharks aggregate in a spot where there’s traffic from boating, as well as other activity such as dredging and recreational fishing. “The nursery is so close to shore waters that the heavy traffic could be keeping away the shark's predators," said Jon Dohlin, vice president and director of the aquarium. It’s one of only a handful of sand shark nurseries that have been identified. The researchers are investigating ways to better protect the nursery. — Read it at Discovery News
A Good Samaritan gave a dog who was missing for three years a ride from Springfield, Missouri, where she was found, back home to Arizona. Owner Richard Glosser said he’d given up hope his family would find May, a Pit Bull, until he suddenly got a Facebook message, a text and an email that she was safe in Missouri. Linda Williams, who lives in Arizona, was planning to spend the holidays in Missouri with her family. So, when she read on Facebook that May needed a lift, she offered to bring the dog home. She and May met the Glosser family in a park Tuesday, where May happily greeted them — and where the family showered thanks on Williams. “I can’t believe you remember us, it’s been so long,” said Glosser to his dog. — Watch it at North Carolina’s My Fox 8
The Westminster, Massachusetts, Fire Department responded to a call Wednesday that a deer was in distress on the ice. Crews arrived on the scene and moved the deer to the shoreline. From there, the Massachusetts Environmental Police helped the deer come ashore. The fire department emphasized in a Facebook post about the incident that the caller did the right thing by not attempting to go out on the ice themselves. “The only truly safe ice can be found at the ice skating rink,” the post reads. — Read it at CBS Boston
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