Hedgehog Playing Jazz Piano

Marutaro is a celebrity hedgehog from Japan. We've previously seen him modeling for photo shoots and playing with pine cones.

Like a lot of people known for a pretty face, Marutaro is trying to break into the music world. But he doesn't perform rock or pop. He's a smooth jazz piano player. Can you dig it?

-via David Thompson


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Dog Comforts Her Pal Who is Having a Nightmare

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This adorable footage shot by Brooke Conti shows her dog Jackson napping on the couch having a bad dream. Jackson's housemate Laika jumps up to put an end to any distress Jackson might have been feeling, throwing in a hug for good measure. Follow the adventures of Jackson and Laika on Instagram. --Via Tastefully Offensive


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The Birth of Kitty Litter

You probably never thought about kitty litter as a world-changing invention, but it made #73 on a list of The 85 Most Disruptive Ideas in Our History. Before 1954, some people would use a sandbox for their cat to do their business in during cold weather. But then Ed Lowe introduced kitty litter, and it changed everything. Everything?

The introduction of Kitty Litter meant that after millennia of scratching at the door cats could come indoors and stay there. They had long been visitors in American homes; now they were residents. In some ways it has been a hostile takeover: There are millions more cats than dogs in the U.S. This also means that Lowe is the indirect father of countless Internet cat memes. Anyone who sells recreational laser pointers, fuzzy mice, scratching posts, cat furniture, or electric-fountain cat water dishes should thank him, too.

A simple idea that began the pet cat revolution. Read how it happened at BloombergBusinessweek. -via Digg


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In Japan, Capybaras Get Treated to Yearly Hot Tubs



In Japan, an "onsen" is a hot spring; the term is also used to describe the resorts that are built around hot springs. Who would have thought that onsens and capybaras would collide? According to one source, the two ideas were linked when over thirty years ago, a Japanese zookeeper noticed that the rodents were gathered around a puddle of hot water in an effort to warm themselves during the cold winter. The scene evolved and became an attraction.

Izu Shaboten Park has been indulging their capybaras in hot baths for thirty-two years. The bath is complete with citrus to make it a more pleasant sensory experience. At least twenty other Japanese zoos have capybara onsens as well. These events are always held in the winter to keep the animals warm. There's even a Japanese hashtag #カピバラ露天風呂 that, translated, means “capybara outdoor bath.” (If you like capybaras, check out the hashtag link. It's full of wonderful photos!)

They have hot tubs, they have hashtags, Twitter users are creating likenesses of them in bowls of soup — these Japanese capybaras are riding high! 

Via Design Taxi | Image: Shabotengroup 


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Dogs Who Think Getting Out of Bed is for the Birds

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I post my fair share of animal videos around here, but of any that especially suit my personallity, it's this compilation of pups young and old who absolutely do not want to get out of bed. Who can blame these doggies, who are usually cuddled up in actual beds with warm blankies and the whole nine? My first reaction is to shut out any person trying to play my alarm clock, so I share the canine pain shown here. -Via Tastefully Offensive


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Seven of the Most Beautiful Fox Species in the World

Arctic Fox | Image: William Doran

Recently, Neatorama featured a remarkable collection of fox photographs shot by Russian miner Ivan Kislov on his work breaks. Kislov shared that, while he took photos of all wildlife he encountered, foxes made for the best subjects due to their curiosity and willingness to come close to him. 

In certain key ways, foxes are part of the human experience. The animal inhabits every continent aside from Antarctica. Foxes are an integral part of popular culture, due to their prominence for centuries in both eastern and western folklore. In such age-old stories, the fox is generally portrayed as wily and mischievious. Such a representation may be explained in part by the resourcefulness and crafty hunting style of the animal, in which it lays camouflaged in natural cover, hiding until it pounces when the time is right.

Emvironmental nuisance, cunning hunter or beloved natural icon, the beauty of the various species of this wild creature is certainly not in question. This image collection of seven beautiful fox species, with several captivating photographs to represent each, is definitely worth a look. 


Marble Fox | Image: Unknown

Silver Fox | Image: Matt Knoth


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The 32 Best Animal Vines Of 2014

Emergency! Call the fire department! These adorable dachshunds are on the ball, even if the truck doesn’t quite clear the doorway. This is just one of 32 Vines featuring dogs, cats, llamas, squirrels, pigs, goats, and sheep that will tickle your funny bone -and believe you me, it was hard to select just one to show you. Buzzfeed designated them as the 32 Best Animal Vines Of 2014. As with all year-end rankings, there could be some argument about who is included and who is not, but in this case you’ll be too busy laughing to think about that. Some have musical accompaniment with NSFW lyrics.


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Cats Confused by Glass Tables

(YouTube link)

When a cat sees something it wants, it’s time to go for it, whether it’s behind glass or not. These cats don’t quite understand this magic force field that is keeping them from their object of desire! Strange how these same cats can deal with a window just fine, but maybe they look at windows as the big separation between “inside” and “outside.” A glass table may be more difficult to rationalize. It’s all fun and games until the cat breaks the glass. -via Tastefully Offensive


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Comedian Surprises Kentucky Humane Society with Gifts Galore

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Comedian Tom Mabe, in this instance working with the Pranking it Forward organization, delights the animals and humans at the Kentucky Humane Society in this footage. After informing the staff by phone that he would be showing up with a donation, Mabe arrived with a truck full of gifts for all, including the hardworking folks that are employed there. The joyous reactions of both the animals and he employees make for an uplifting smilefest of a video. -Via Viral Nova


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Cow in the House

(YouTube link)

This is what happens when you take your eyes off a five-year-old for five minutes. Billie Jo Decker found that her daughter Breanna had let her pet calf into the house! The calf seems to enjoy the adventure. Decker didn’t lose her cool, and in fact was pretty amused by the situation. She just grabbed a camera and recorded Breanna’s attempts at explanation- and it eventually leads to an adorable moment of affection between Breanna and her beloved calf. -via Daily Picks and Flicks


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Dog Visits Hospital for Two Years Waiting for Deceased Owner

A little dog named Masha went to the hospital in Novosibirsk, Siberia, Russia, with her owner when he was admitted two years ago, and then visited him every day. But when he passed away, Masha returned again and again. And she still goes there every day, waiting for her master.

Masha has become a well-known, and much loved, figure at the Novosibirsk District Hospital Number One, where patients and workers ensure she has a warm bed and food to eat.

But, aware of her obvious sadness at being unable to find her owner, staff are hoping an animal lover will come forward to adopt her and give her a new home.

Chief doctor Vladimir Bespalov told Novosibirsk Vesti TV: 'You see her eyes, how sad they are - it’s not the usual shiny eyes for when a dog is happy. You can see this in animals in the same way as with people.

'There is nothing medicine can do for her here, but we are still hoping that Masha will be able to find another owner. One day, and we very much want this day to come soon, our Masha will trust somebody.'

Masha has been compared to Hachiko, the dog who waited for his owner at the train station for eleven years after the man died. Read more about Masha at The Siberian Times. -via Daily of the Day

(Image credit: Vesti. Novosibirsk)


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Dogs Acting Like Total Jerks By Sitting On Other Dogs

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Cats can be really domineering, spiteful, and just plain mean to dogs, so can you blame the canine community for wanting to lash out every once in a while?

However, when dogs act out they almost always go after the wrong target, in this case their fellow canines, and end up make themselves look like total buttheads!

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There's nothing more humiliating than having your doggy pal park their butt on your head, except perhaps when your owner snaps a pic to commemorate the moment you reached rock bottom.

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Here’s a fun collection of images showing dogs acting like total jerks by sitting on other dogs brought to you by Barkpost, the place to go when you're in need of a fun doggy pic fix.


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Baby and Sloth Are Best Friends


(Photo: Hidden Clover Adventures)

On the left is Daisy, a sloth. On the right is Alia, a 5-month old baby human. Alia's parents, Julia and Jason Heckathorn, brought them home on the same day. Daisy is the latest addition to their growing menagerie, which also includes a kangaroo, an anteater, a cat, and a few sugar gliders. Julia Heckathorn tells the New York Daily News that the two girls get along just like sisters should:

"When Alia and Daisy sit next to each other, Daisy sniffs Alia while Alia nuzzles into Daisy's soft fur. They are so sweet together,” Heckathorn said. "They even wear the same-colored flower headpieces in their hair.


(Video Link)

-via Huffington Post


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The Cataquarium

Here’s one way to keep an eye on your cats during cold weather! Redditor ericscheel’s father has a farm and quite a few outdoor cats. He built a box around the outside of a window, complete with a shelf, small doorway, and a cat ramp. The cats cannot help but check it out, then discover it’s a nice warm place to be, and the people inside can see them all in one place. The converse is true as well: the cats get to observe what the people in the house are doing. See a larger version of the pictures here.


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Wampa Kitty's First Thanksgiving

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Ir's Wampa kitty's (previously at Neatorama) first Thanksgiving dinner, and she's sporting a pilgrim hat for the festivities. Her pal the chihuahua is around to keep her company as she samples the holiday treats on a special table made for the occasion. Wampa gets busy creating her own traditions, too, as she tramples the Thanksgiving table and makes the food go flying. Wampa instinctively knows that the coolest cats always manage to keep the party interesting! -Via Tastfully Offensive


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Unusual, Adorable Animal Friendships

Mani the wild boar piglet and Candi the dog | Images: 

Bored Panda asked readers to submit photos of special animal friendships, and the collection is heartwarming. Clearly, animals of all types, if they have a mind to, are capable of enjoying each others' companionship. Whether bonded by chance or special circumstance, the animal friends' joy in being with each other shows in these charming photos. See the entire collection here. 

Bubbles the African elephant and Bella the black Labrador | Images: Cat and goat | Image: 

Continue reading

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Optical Illusions Accidentally Created By Animals

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It’s only natural to see optical illusions in the world around us, and nature likes to unintentionally serve up some real mind-benders that force you to take a second look in order to wrap your mind around what your eyes are seeing.

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Some animals incorporate optical illusions into their body markings on purpose, but most animal based optical illusions are simply a matter of seeing things from the right angle at exactly the right moment.

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Little Things has put together a fun collection of 22 Optical Illusions Created Accidentally By Animals, an assortment of odd animal pics sure to make you think your mind is playing tricks on you!


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Babysitting Monkey

Inexperienced babysitters really do need a little supervision the first time they interact with infants. That holds true even if you're a monkey. In this clip from the BBC One series Life Story, a juvenile langur monkey tries out her parenting skills for the first time -with less-than-stellar results. It's a good thing mama monkey wasn't too far away! Maybe she'll do better next time, but you can be sure that mama monkey will stay close by to make sure there are no shenanigans. -Thanks, Caragh Salisbury!


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Puppy Swims With Dolphins in Chance Encounter

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This remarkable footage shot by Arriane Christie captured her ten-month-old puppy Jackie enthusiastically joining several dolphins for a swim off the coast of Wellington's Bay in Whangarei, New Zealand. In her video description, Arriane said she thought the dolphins swam up to meet the pup. She said in an interview,

"I think she just wanted to know what they were. I think they were just wanting to play. Jackie was in the shallows and they came right up to her. 

I was a little bit nervous to start with because I thought one whack of their tails and she (Jackie) could be knocked out. 

The three dolphins swum around the area for about 40 minutes. They were a good size, probably up to two metres long. 



Jackie was in and out of the water, watching for when the dolphins came closer.

When she wasn't in the water she was fully focused on them. If I walked in front of her she dodged out of the way so she could see them again. 

They (the dolphins) were messing with her a little bit, going really slow and then when she caught up they would speed up and then circle around her."

What an exciting experience for all three species! -Via Arbroath


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Studying Dog Brains

Research into how dogs think is yielding some amazing results, although a lot of it just confirms what we already thought from behavior observation, but did not know for sure. What’s amazing is how its done. Imagine putting a dog in an MRI machine.

The most direct brain-based evidence that dogs are hopelessly devoted to humans comes from a recent neuroimaging study about odor processing in the dog brain. Animal cognition scientists at Emory University trained dogs to lie still in an MRI machine and used fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) to measure their neural responses to the smell of people and dogs, both familiar and unknown. Because dogs navigate the world through their noses, the way they process smell offers a lot of potential insight into social behavior.

The scientists found that dog owners' aroma actually sparked activation in the "reward center" of their brains, called the caudate nucleus. Of all the wafting smells to take in, dogs actually prioritized the hint of humans over anything or anyone else.

Other studies show that dogs process information a lot like people do -and quite differently from what we know of cats and other animals. Read more about canine brain research at at Brain Mic, and do not miss the picture of the good dog waiting for his MRI. -via Metafilter

(Image credit: Borbala Ferenczy)


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Spaghetti Eating Competition

(YouTube link)

Which dog will eat a plate of spaghetti noodles faster: a golden retriever or a German shepherd? Recall the last competition between these breeds of dogs, in which both considered themselves winners for different reasons. Then you can probably guess which dog will win this one, but you may be surprised at the margin of victory. Unless you own that breed, of course.  -via Viral Viral Videos


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