Pet Scoop: Lion Cubs Show Off “Predator Attitude,” Snail Named for Equal Marriage

Oct. 15, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

The Oregon Zoo's 5-week-old lion cubs are already swiping, nipping and swatting each other.
The Oregon Zoo's 5-week-old lion cubs are already swiping, nipping and swatting each other.

Lion Cubs Swat at Each Other

They may look cute and cuddly, but at just 5 weeks old, the Oregon Zoo’s three lion cubs are already showing their fierce side. The cubs, recently named Hasani, Mashavu and Niara in an online vote, were born to first-time mom Kya on Sept. 8. They had a fourth sibling who died at four days old. But the two females and one male are healthy and thriving. "They are still just these little fuzzballs, smaller even than some housecats,” says curator Jennifer Davis. “But their paws are enormous, and they're already starting to show some of that apex predator attitude. Lions are born with an instinct to chase and hunt, and it's through play like this that they develop their skills and coordination. We're seeing the beginnings of that now." The trio nips and pounces on each other in an adorable new video from the zoo. — Read it and watch it from the Oregon Zoo

Footage Catches Whale Napping

A 20-minute video from a research dive team called Panga MX shows a rare view of a humpback whale sleeping in Mexican waters. The whale can be seen gently bobbing in the water, moving from a straight up and down position to a horizontal position near the water’s surface. Previous research has shown that half of a whale’s brain is still active while they sleep. They nap in short intervals because they have to surface for air. — Watch it at Discovery News

New Snail Species Named for Marriage Equality

Researchers who found a new land snail species in Taiwan have named it Aegista diversifamilia, which means diverse forms of human families. The name is meant to support efforts to make same-sex marriage legal in Taiwan and around the world. Scientists confirmed that the snail that was long thought to be A. subchinensis from eastern Taiwan was actually a new species. "When we were preparing the manuscript, it was a period when Taiwan and many other countries and states were struggling for the recognition of same-sex marriage rights,” said study co-author Dr. Yen-Chang Lee. “It reminded us that Pulmonata land snails are hermaphrodite animals, which means they have both male and female reproductive organs in a single individual. They represent the diversity of sex orientation in the animal kingdom. We decided that maybe this is a good occasion to name the snail to remember the struggle for the recognition of same-sex marriage rights.” The study was published in the journal ZooKeys. — Read it at Science Daily

A friendly black dog got a belly rub from a soccer player before being carried off the field at a match in Argentina.
A friendly black dog got a belly rub from a soccer player before being carried off the field at a match in Argentina.

Cute Dog Interrupts Soccer Match

Last weekend, an Argentina Premier League soccer game came to a halt when a sweet black dog joined the players on the field. In a video of the incident, the crowd can be heard cheering as the friendly pooch, who appears to be a Labrador Retriever mix, trots across the field to greet one of the players — who’s more than happy to give her a belly rub. She’s then scooped up by his teammate, who carries her across the field to an official, who takes her off the field. Dogs and cats have been known to make appearances during soccer matches. In August, a black cat made headlines when he darted across the field during a game in Barcelona, Spain. — Watch it at ESPN

Family Buys House — Complete With Cat

A family in Australia was willing to pay $2.2 million for a house, as long as the resident cat was part of the deal. Tiffany, a 4-year-old feline, was lounging around the house during an open inspection, and the buyer’s child fell in love with her. The buyer offered $140,000 over the asking price as long as the cat came with the house. The seller, Fran Perceval, said many potential buyers had fallen in love with her 19-year-old son Sam’s cat. Sam didn’t like the idea of parting with Tiffany at first, but then decided that it would be good for Tiffany to go to a family with a younger child who’d “take great care of her,” said Fran Perceval. — Read it at Yahoo


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