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Dec. 11, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Holiday Video Helps Shelter Cats
Some of the Internet’s most famous felines make appearances in a new holiday video with a cause. Grumpy Cat, Colonel Meow, Oskar the Blind Cat, Nala Cat and Hamilton the Hipster Cat star in a new music video for Friskies called “Hard to Be a Cat at Christmas.” The video shows footage of the cats lamenting over presents, and wishing for some of that holiday meal — or at the very least, some wet food. For every view of the video up to 500,000 views, Friskies will donate one can of wet food to shelter and rescue groups across the country. Grumpy Cat, as you may recall, is a spokescat for Friskies. — Read it from the Los Angeles Times and watch the video at YouTube
The Baturite porcupine, found in the Brejos de Altitude forests in the Baturite Range in Brazil, is identified in a new study. The seventh known species of prehensile-tailed porcupine, it was identified using specimens from 1954 and 2012. Scientists found that some characteristics of their skulls and quills were “unique to these animals,” said biologist Anderson Feijó. Previously, it was thought to be the Brazilian porcupine, but the biologists say the Baturite porcupine has a quill pattern that makes it appear darker in color, and has a broad snout. The study was published in Revista Nordestina de Biologia. — Read it at National Geographic
Male chameleons don’t necessarily use their color-changing capabilities to blend in with their surroundings. Instead, they use them to scare off male rivals. Researchers from Arizona State University have shown that the faster and brighter a male veiled chameleon changes color, the more likely he is to win a territorial fight. In a series of experiments, the scientists found that in battles between male chameleons, the ones that morphed colors faster and had brighter patches on their heads tended to win. The study was published in the journal Biology Letters. — Read it at Live Science
Lab Rescued From Icy Pond
Reagan, a chocolate Labrador, fell through the ice into a frigid pond behind her home in Oklahoma City early Monday morning. The 80-pound dog was in the water, trying to swim to safety or grab hold of the ice, for two hours before police rescued her using a zodiac boat. “It was just an awesome recovery effort,” said Reagan’s owner, Cecilia Savage. “The policeman said that he didn’t know if any other dog could’ve survived it because that’s just so long to be in that water.” After being treated at an emergency animal clinic, Reagan was in high spirits later Monday, and happy to get some doggie treats. “It was very distressing,” Savage said. “She’s our baby and we’ve grown very attached to her.” — Read it at Oklahoma’s KFOR and watch it at Today
A male Asian elephant was born to mom Dokkoon at Australia’s Melbourne Zoo. He arrived at 2:40 a.m. on Sunday, weighing about 289 pounds. He joins big sister Mali at the zoo, and will be introduced to the rest of the herd in the coming days and weeks. The birth is bittersweet for the zoo. Keepers were devastated when an 11-month-old calf named Sanook died after becoming entangled in a favorite toy less than two weeks ago. They’re now trying to focus on caring for the newborn, and will begin choosing a selection of names that reflect his personality. — Watch it at People Pets
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