Dogs with Perfectly Square or Round Haircuts Are All the Rage in Taiwan

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A bizarre new dog grooming trend in Taiwan has dog owners giving their pet pooches square or round haircuts. Canine hairdressers all over Taipei are up to date on the special technique required for these eccentric makeovers.

“It came about because people were always looking for more impressive haircuts, and somebody came up with the idea of shaping the dog like a hedge,” parlour owner Tain Yeh says. It started with a few people opting for these haircuts and sharing their pets’ photographs online, after which the trend caught on. Thousands of pet owners are now approaching salons, asking for their dogs’ hair to be cut in geometric patterns. Some are actually doing it simply to gain more likes and shares!

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This Famous Dutch Owl Loves to Land on People’s Heads

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A strange owl in the Dutch town of Noordeinde has become famous for its penchant for landing on people’s heads. It seems that the bird simply lands on people who happen to be walking by, for no apparent reason!

Apparently, a fence or a tree just isn’t good enough for the beautiful European eagle owl, weighing around six pounds. It only lands on people’s heads, staying perched for about a minute before flying off in search of its next target.

The residents of Noordeinde aren’t bothered by the owl one bit. In fact, they’re quite delighted with all the attention that their town is receiving, thanks to the wild bird. “I’ve seen photographers and birders from around the country, from The Hague to Spijkenisse, they come from everywhere to see the eagle owl,” a cheerful resident said. “Our village is finally on the map!”

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Stray Dog Who Followed Extreme Sports Team During Grueling Amazon Race Melts Internet Hearts

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When a team of Swedish athletes trekking through the Ecuadorian rainforest last year sat down for a meal of canned meat, they were joined by the most unusual dinner guest – a scruffy old stray dog. They felt sorry for the poor creature and gave him some of their food, but little did they expect that the small gesture of kindness would earn them a friend for life. From that moment on the dog never left their side, following them through the rough terrain for the entire duration of the trek!

The group of four trekkers happened to be navigating the final two stages of the 430-mile Adventure Racing World Championship, during the time that the dog – whom they later named Arthur – befriended them. “I had just opened a food pack when I saw a scruffy miserable dog in the corner of my eye,” said team member Mikaels Lindord. “I thought he was hungry and gave him a meatball. Then I thought no more of it.”

But the act certainly made an impression on Arthur, who refused to leave his new master’s side. Despite his ill health, he kept up with the team through every gruelling task. He swam alongside them while they kayaked down rivers, dragged himself up treacherous hills as they hiked, and even managed to pull himself through knee-deep mud during treks.

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Colorado Lake Becomes Giant Fish Bowl after Dumped Goldfish Multiply by the Thousands

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Releasing pet fish into a lake might sound like a kind thing to do, but in fact, it is quite the opposite. Teller Lake in Boulder, Colorado, is making headlines for a bizarre surge in its goldfish population, after someone apparently dumped three or four of them in its waters a couple of years ago. The lake is now home to a whopping 3,000 to 4,000 goldfish that are putting its delicate ecosystem in danger.

The fish have multiplied beyond control – they’re eating up all the resources, spreading unnatural diseases, and threatening to overrun the lake’s natural species. Colorado wildlife officials say that humans are to blame.

“Dumping your pets into a lake could bring diseases to native animals and plants as well as out-compete them for resources,” said Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) spokesperson Jennifer Churchill. “Everything can be affected. Non-native species can potentially wipe out the fishery as we’ve put it together.”

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Cat Finally Gets Rescued after Living in the Wall of a Subway Station for Five Years

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After five long years of entrapment inside the wall of a subway station in Cairo, Egypt, a cat was finally set free last month. The poor feline was first discovered in 2010 by an elderly man known as Uncle Abdo, who heard its meows from behind the wall at Mohamed Naguib Metro station. After checking the premises, Abdo found a tiny hole and realized the cat must have crawled inside and had gotten stuck. He named the cat Biso, and made it mission to take care of it.

At first,Uncle Abdo, who owns a shop outside the station, wasn’t sure of what to do about the situation – he would have liked to break open the wall the free the cat, but that would have meant destruction of public property. So he continued to bring food and water for Biso, reaching into the hole and placing them there so that she could survive. The bizarre arrangement continued for five long years. Even during the revolution on January 25, 2011, when most stores were closed, Uncle Abdo went to the station, just to feed Biso.

“I do it for God, what is for God does not go away,” Uncle Abdo said, adding that God rids him of many problems for such good deeds.

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Mutable Rain Frogs – Shape-Shifting Amphibians That Change Skin Texture in Minutes

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Scientists in Ecuador have discovered a new species of frog that is able to morph the texture of its skin – from spiny to smooth – within a matter of minutes. Aptly named ‘mutable rain frog’, the tiny, finger-nail sized creature is the first shape-shifting amphibian to ever be found.

According to a Livescience report, the mutable frogs were found in Reserva Las Gralarias, a protected cloud reserve forest on the western slopes of Ecuador’s Andes Mountains. The incredible discovery is credited to biologist Katherine Kryna and naturalist Tim Krynak, who have spent the past decade combing the reserve for rare frog species.

The duo first spotted the frog in 2006, when they had captured it on camera. On closer inspection of the photograph, they realised that it could be a new species. The frog’s spiny-textured skin stood out, so they started calling it ‘punk rocker’. “It wasn’t until we saw the amazing texture of its skin that we thought, ‘wow, this is something different,’” said Katherine.

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Pseudis Paradoxa – The Paradoxical Frog That Shrinks as It Grows

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The Pseudis Paradoxa is the Benjamin Button equivalent of the amphibian world. The paradoxical creature starts off as a 25-cm-long tadpole and shrinks as it grows. ending up as a small tropical frog, about a quarter of its original size.

When biologists discovered the paradoxical frog in the South American wild,they were understandably confused. At first, they thought the adult frogs were actually the babies, which later grew into giant tadpoles, exactly the opposite of how every other frog species in the world develops. They later figured out that the 11-inch tadpoles were indeed the juveniles, but still couldn’t explain the bizarre phenomenon.

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173-Pound Pit Bull Named “The Hulk” Definitely Lives Up to His Name

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A bully pitbull that’s almost the size of a miniature pony has become an internet sensation after his owners released photos and videos of him online. Aptly named ‘The Hulk’, the impressive canine weighs a massive 173 pounds and he is still growing!

At only 17 months, The Hulk is already three times bigger than other dogs of his breed, and he’s already being hailed as the ‘biggest bully pit bull on earth’. However, his owners,Marlon and Lisa Grennan, from New Hampshire, say The Hulk is a gentle soul, and even let their toddler son ride him like a horse. “These dogs are very balanced and gentle – they are nanny dogs,” Marlon said. “I don’t think it’s irresponsible for people to have pit bulls and children. They’re dogs just like any other dog. No matter what the breed it is, it is hundred per cent how you raise them.”

Still, the Grennans admit that The Hulk “could kill someone if it was in the wrong situation at the wrong time” and “snap an arm like a toothpick”.

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These Kindhearted Chinese Women Feed 1,300 Dogs Every Single Day

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Five elderly women in China have dedicated their lives to the care of nearly 1,300 stray dogs. The enterprising women run their very own custom dog asylum, where they feed the lucky canines 400 kg of tasty dog-food every single day.

The shelter, located in China’s central Shaanxi Province, was established in 2009 by 60-year-old Wang Yanfang. She said that she felt sympathetic towards strays that were taken away by regulators, so she decided to apply for permission to open the asylum, solely supported by donations.

Since then she has gained the support of four other women, and together they wake up at 4am each morning just to prepare food for the dogs. They are so dedicated to the cause that they even chose to forgo the extravagant display of fireworks on New Year’s Eve, and instead spent the day with the abandoned dogs.

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Fascinating Amazonian Bird Mimics Toxic Caterpillar to Fend Off Predators

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While most young birds rely on their parents for protection, the chicks of the Amazonian Cinereous Mourner have their own survival tactic. In order to avoid being eaten by predators, they actually mimic poisonous caterpillars!

On hatching, the chicks are covered with bright orange, spiky feathers that make them look like massive caterpillars that use bright colors to warn predators of their toxicity. And to make their camouflage even more effective, they even writhe about much like caterpillars.

“These traits give it a resemblance to a hairy, aposematic caterpillar,” said Dr. Gustavo Londoño, a biologist at the University of California. “Because predation is the main cause of avian nest failure, selection should favor strategies that reduce the probability of nest predation. The caterpillar we encountered measured 12 cm, which closely matches the size of the L. hypopyrra nesting. The striking morphological similarity is the caterpillars’ orange ‘hairs’ with white tips, which match almost exactly the nestling’s elongated orange downy feather barbs with bright white tips.”

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Tiny Pony Gets Periscope So He Can See Out of His Stall

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At 43 inches, Pedro, an adorable pint-sized Shetland pony, is so small that he can’t even see over his own stable door. Fortunately, a group of schoolchildren recently found a solution to his problem – they designed a special equine periscope just for him. The cardboard contraption, aptly named the ‘Pedroscope’, is fixed to the 60-inch gate and uses carefully placed mirrors in order to give 14-year-old Pedro a view of the world outside his stall.

Owing to his small stature, Pedro was given a home at Ebony Horse Club, a struggling charity in London that gives disadvantaged children a chance to engage with horses. But builders estimated that it would cost thousands of pounds to create a custom-made miniature stable for the cute pony. So the charity turned to local school children for help, and they rose to the occasion quite beautifully. They came up with the design for the cardboard periscope, which was later built by printing firm Print & Cut.

“We got an email from the Ebony Horse Club who were asking for our help, it was so nice, and a little bit funny, that we decided to give it a go,” said Andy Morris, owner of Print & Cut. “The sketch was sent to us and then I turned it into a 3D sketch with some software, and then it was sent to be made. It was all quite easy, and we did it for free to help Pedro. As soon as I saw it, I thought it was funny and knew it would be relatively easy for us to do, and we’d make the pony and children pretty happy.”

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Fascinating Viper Uses Its Realistic Spider-Shaped Tail to Lure Prey

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As if snakes weren’t scary enough on their own, some apparently have spiders for tails to raise the horror factor to infinity . The aptly named ‘spider-tailed viper’ has a bizarre arachnid-shaped appendage that it uses to attract unsuspecting prey.

According to science writer Ed Yong, the fearsome snake was formally described only nine years ago, in Iran. Its existence has been known since the sixties, but because only one specimen had been spotted, its tail was dismissed as a deformity. However, further investigations in the area revealed the tail was actually a defining characteristic of a whole new species of snakes.

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Amazing Alaskan Wood Frog Freezes Solid in Winter and Comes Alive in Spring

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There are several creatures that possess a certain tolerance to subzero temperatures, but none as amazing as the Alaskan Wood Frog. This tiny amphibian can survive being almost completely frozen during winter, only to miraculously come back to life as soon as spring arrives!

For days, even weeks weeks at a time during its period of winter hibernation, over 60 percent of the frog’s body freezes;  it stops breathing and its heart stops beating. Its physical processes like metabolic activity and waste production come to a halt. “For all intents and purposes, they are dead,” said Don Larson, a Ph.D. student at Fairbanks, Alaska. As per his research, wood frogs can survive long winters where temperatures range between -9C to -18C. In fact, it can go through 10 to 15 freeze/thaw cycles over the course of a single season.

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Company Specializes in Creating Cuddly Plush Clones of Your Pets

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Louisville-based online retailer Cuddle Clones Inc. is in the business of creating custom made stuffed replicas of house pets for animal lovers. Their clients are mostly people who are looking for a Cuddle Clone to replace their deceased pets. According to founder Jennifer Graham, her customers just want to hug their dog or cat again, even if it’s just an incredibly realistic replica.

Graham said she got the idea for Cuddle Clones a few years back when she was resting her head on her pet Rufus, a Great Dane. At the time, she thought it would be nice to have life-size plush version of Rufus. She submitted the idea to a few business plan competitions, and encouraged by the positive feedback, she decided to turn it into a reality.

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Japanese Company Fills Offices with Cats to Help Employees Unwind and Improve Productivity

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In a cramped city like Tokyo, where owning a pet is a luxury and most apartments have strict no-pets policies, it’s hard for cat lovers to spend quality time with their favorite animals. In response, cat cafés have cropped up all over the city, where people get to sip delicious beverages while petting a purring kitty. But even that doesn’t come close to having a cat in your own home, because the time spent with the furry creatures is quite limited.

That’s why a Japanese company has come up with a great idea to get its employees to interact with pets more often – a cat-populated workplace! The offices of Ferray Corporation, an internet solutions business, is filled with nine lovable rescued cats that are allowed to roam freely all through the day. The cats are so adorable that employees of Ferray are reporting considerably lowered stress levels.

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