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2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal
stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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