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Dec. 10, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Researchers at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine have made an adorable scientific breakthrough: a litter of seven puppies born for the first time using in vitro fertilization. The first human IVF baby was born in 1978, and the procedure has been used successfully in several other species. But using it in dogs has proved trickier despite many years of trying. "The cycle in the dog is so very different than in other species,” said Penn Vet's Dr. Margaret Casal. The scientists have finally found how to tweak the process and achieve fertilization success rates of 80 to 90 percent. The litter of Beagles and Cocker Spaniels was born to a surrogate mom in July. The puppies from the litter have gone to happy homes, and one researcher has two of them. Looking to the future, the researchers say using IVF with gene editing techniques may allow them to remove genetic diseases in an embryo, saving dogs from heritable diseases. The research was published in the journal PLOS ONE. — Read it at CBS News
Researchers in Brazil have found a tiny tree frog living in an equally tiny pool formed naturally by the leaves of a plant. The frog was named Dendropsophus bromeliaceus, aka the Teresensis’ bromeliad treefrog, which refers to locals in Santa Teresa, Brazil, where the frog was found, and to the leafy bromeliad plants where it lives. “Bromeliads accumulate rainwater between leaves, which provides refuge, moisture and water,” wrote lead researcher Rodrigo Ferreira and his colleagues. They discovered the light brown frog when they saw one leap out of its plant home. The frog is described in the journal PLOS ONE. — Read it at Discovery News
Time magazine announced Wednesday that its 2015 Person of the Year is Angel Merkel, Germany’s Chancellor. But one of their runners-up is getting nearly as much attention. Time released a video from its summer photo shoot with billionaire businessman Donald Trump, the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, with a bald eagle, a symbol of American freedom. The 27-year-old bird, named Uncle Sam, didn’t seem to be thrilled with Trump. As his handler placed him on Trump’s arm, he flapped his large wings, messing up Trump’s hair in the process. — Watch it at Time
A photo of firefighter in Australia sharing an oxygen mask with a dog he saved from a blaze is touching hearts around the world. The fire, in a home in Vermont, Australia, was started by a TV, the Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board said on Facebook last week. After the fire was out, the owners asked firefighters to check again for their dog, Angus. “He was found hiding under a bed upstairs and is lucky to be alive,” according to the post. Angus’ owner wasn’t home when the fire started, and was relieved to be reunited with the pooch. “He needs a good wash but is going to be fine,” the department said. — Read it at People Pets
The Internet sensation with the permanent scowl met her match at Madame Tussauds wax museum in San Francisco. Grumpy Cat’s owner, Tabatha Bundesen, held her up next to her wax likeness as it made its debut Tuesday. The real 3-year-old feline gave the wax figure a few sniffs, and her trademark frown. She’s the first cat to be featured among the human celebrities and historical figures that can be found in the famed museum. If you’re not in California, there’s good news for you, too: The animatronic Grumpy Cat likeness will travel to five other Madam Tussauds locations in the U.S. — Read it at the Washington Post
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