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New Study Reveals How Tuxedo Cats Get Their Tuxedos

Scientists were way off

(Newser) - Researchers now know why and how tuxedo cats wear a tuxedo—and it's not for formal galas (cats hate those). The Guardian reports scientists had already figured out that piebald animals get their distinctive white patches because of a mutated gene. But they were way off in their theory... More »

One of the World's Cutest Animals Resurfaces

But the Ili pika faces threats to its survival

(Newser) - The Ili pika seems almost too cute to be real—but a newly released photo proves it does indeed still exist. Scientist Li Weidong and his team were lucky enough to spot one last July in China's Tianshan Mountains during a search, National Geographic reports. It was the first... More »

Water-Loving Animal Seems to 'Live Forever'

Scientists still puzzled by the hydra

(Newser) - A water-loving animal called the hydra may measure less than a half-inch, but still has something on us: It seems to live forever. Treehugger revisits this biological mystery, calling hydra "marvels of the animal world" that share "regenerative powers" with the multi-headed Hydra of Greek mythology. We know... More »

China Poisoning Animal Behind Pokemon Character

The little pika has faced mass-poisoning for 50 years

(Newser) - Two American scientists are none too pleased with China's plan for a critter called the pika: to mass-poison the furry little guy. The animal (which inspired the popular Pokemon character Pikachu) digs huge burrow-networks across the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau in northwest China, the Independent reports. Officials have apparently spent more... More »

Pit Bull Saves Boy, 8, From Bee Swarm

Hades pulls Jesse-Cole Shaver to safety

(Newser) - Hades the pit bull is doing her part to ensure the breed's good name. When Jesse-Cole Shaver; his sister, Jasmine; and some friends were playing in the Oregon woods, someone stepped on a rotten log—and bees zoomed out to attack. Jesse-Cole, 8, was stung some 24 times, and... More »

Mama Bear Mauls Jogger

Third attack in Alaska this summer

(Newser) - Suzanne Knudsen was less than a mile into her run Monday morning when a pair of brown bear cubs stumbled across her path on a trail near her Alaska home. The next thing she knew, the cubs' mama hit her from behind, attacking her and knocking her to the ground,... More »

Woman Tries to Rescue Cat, Needs Rescuing

Tara Dennis heard cat crying in tree for days

(Newser) - Firefighters typically wouldn't rescue a cat caught in a tree. But they did on Sunday ... in order to rescue the woman who tried to save it. "Normally, we recommend they just let animals come down by themselves," said the deputy fire chief in Erie, Pa., after 21-year-old... More »

World's Fastest Animal Is Very, Very Small

When speed is measured in body lengths per second, that is

(Newser) - Watch your back, Usain Bolt: A California physics major has found that a tiny mite is (sort of) the fastest land animal on Earth, keeping a pace equivalent to that of a human running 1,300 miles per hour, the Christian Science Monitor reports. Why "sort of"? As... More »

Elk Goes Viral, Gets Euthanized

Men behind video 'deeply saddened'

(Newser) - An elk in North Carolina's Great Smoky Mountains National Park made a name for himself via a YouTube clip that has garnered nearly 2 million views—and also played a role in his downfall. In the clip, the young bull elk butts heads with a photographer for quite a... More »

Zoo's Rare Tiger Drowns 3 Weeks After Birth

London zookeepers think mom might have carried it out of den

(Newser) - London zookeepers are using the word "distraught," and understandably so: The city's zoo has lost the first Sumatran tiger born there in 17 years; the three-week-old cub apparently drowned on Saturday morning. Keepers realized something was amiss after failing to locate the newborn using the cameras trained... More »

Dolphins Have Names for Each Other

They respond to 'signature whistles': researchers

(Newser) - Sure, call him Flipper, but he's probably already got a name among his own kind. Bottlenose dolphins appear to have individual identifying whistles, researchers in Scotland find. The scientists recorded the "signature whistles" of several of the animals in a group, along with other sounds they make. The... More »

Mammal Moms Can Choose Baby's Sex

They subconsciously produce boys or girls, based on a slew of factors

(Newser) - Call it "sneaky Machiavellian girl power," as the lead researcher does in the Washington Post . His study in PloS One concludes that female mammals have the innate ability to determine the sex of their offspring. It's not a conscious decision—the expectant moms somehow factor in a... More »

Dog Rescues Infant From Trash Dump

Thai canine finds baby in plastic bag, takes her home

(Newser) - A dog-about-town earned a medal—and a new leather collar—after rescuing an infant from a roadside dump in Thailand. The dog, Pui, apparently found the baby girl in a plastic bag and carried her home, barking as he arrived. That got the attention of his owner's 12-year-old niece,... More »

Buying a Python While Drunk Never a Good Idea

Brit gets 8 weeks in prison after ill-advised purchase

(Newser) - A UK man's party purchase almost killed his sleeping buddy. While Dwayne Matthews was drinking with friends, a van arrived whose driver was selling a stolen 10-foot-long python, his lawyer tells the Coventry Telegraph . "In his wisdom, and no doubt egged on by his inebriated friends," Matthews... More »

Dog Saves Man Trapped in Hole for Days

Pulled his owner toward rocks

(Newser) - Mole just pulled a Lassie. The mixed-breed dog was out for a walk with his owner on a California trail when he began acting strangely yesterday. Mole "kept on tugging at my pant and whining, pulling me," Ramon Llamas tells Fox 11 . The source of the commotion: something... More »

Dog Survives 11-Mile Ride Wedged in Car's Grille

Driver didn't see the dog, continued drive from Mass. to RI

(Newser) - Authorities say a dog survived an 11-mile ride at speeds as high as 50mph after she was hit by a sedan and became wedged in the grille. East Providence Animal Control supervisor William Muggle says the poodle mix ran in front of the car in Taunton, Mass., on Sept. 20.... More »

Triathlete Attacked by Crazed ... Otter

Minnesota woman bitten 25 times

(Newser) - Triathletes face some serious challenges—but bloodthirsty otters aren't usually among them. While preparing for her second Ironman Triathlon, a Minnesota woman was attacked by just such a creature, which bit her 25 times before she was rescued. Leah Prudhomme was in the midst of a half-mile swim in... More »

Man's Foiled Plan: Sell Bear Cubs at Gas Station

Says he shot their mother in self-defense

(Newser) - What do you do with an extra pair of bear cubs? A California man wasn't sure—so he tried to pawn them off at a gas station, according to wildlife authorities who stopped him. Chris Puett says he had shot the cubs' mother when she charged him at his... More »

Dog Reunited With Family After 700-Mile Journey

'Bear' somehow made it from Sacramento to Tacoma in two days

(Newser) - Sounds like something out of a movie: A dog was reunited with his Sacramento, California, owner yesterday after he disappeared and was found two days later … in Tacoma, Washington. Bear, a 2-year-old Patterdale terrier, is only 20 pounds and 15 inches tall, and it’s unclear how he made... More »

'Genius' Horse Nabs World Record

Lukas can identify numbers, colors, letters

(Newser) - He’s been called the “world’s smartest horse,” and now he’s got a Guinness World Record: Lukas holds the record for “Most Numbers Correctly Identified by a Horse in One Minute”—19. The 17-year-old thoroughbred has a wealth of tricks under his belt, including... More »

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