06:11 PM EDT 05/18/2013
Animals & Pets
Originally posted 05/18/2013 08:15AM
Johnny Depp was already a pretty unique guy. And now he can further boast that he's the only actor to have an obscure, extinct creature that lived half a billion years named after him.
A 505-million-year-old fossil discovered recently has been named Kooteninchela deppi because of its scissor-like claws, which reminded the scientist who discovered it of Depp's character from the 1990 movie Edward Scissorhands.
"When I first saw the pair of isolated claws in the fossil records of this species, I could not help but think of Edward Scissorhands," the scientist, David Legg, said on the website of London's Imperial College (see an image of the creature there). "Even the genus name, Kootenichela, includes the reference to this film, as 'chela' is Latin for claws or scissors."
Originally posted 05/17/2013 03:00PM
A census has begun to determine how many breeding pairs of puffins live in the Farne Islands off the coast of Northumberland, England.
This is no fly-by-night operation – the survey, done every five years, takes National Trust rangers three months to complete, as they diligently check every spot the black-and-white seabirds may nest.
Originally posted 05/16/2013 05:15PM
"Pomp and Circumstance" – or pup and circumstance?
Recent University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign graduate Bridget Evans marked the milestone with a very special classmate by her side: her service dog, aptly named Hero.
"He's been with me through all my classes," the Master's degree recipient, 24, who was born with spina bifida (a birth defect hindering mobility), tells Today. "He deserved a cap and gown as much as I did."
Originally posted 05/14/2013 04:40PM
We've committed a great deal of time and energy to envying Blake Lively. Those legs. That wardrobe. Her man.
Yes, she's the girl who won Ryan Reynolds's heart, getting the best of our jealous hearts and marrying him last September.
But we're going to let her off the hook for a minute because there's a new subject deserving of our green streak: We're looking at you, Baxter.
Originally posted 05/13/2013 05:00PM
Well, someone's ready for swimsuit season!
Months after taking on a Biggest Loser-style fitness challenge in September, Obie the dachshund is showing off his weight loss one step at a time. Literally.
The pooch, who weighed in at 77 lbs. at his heaviest, flaunted his 40 lbs.-slimmer physique during a Mother's Day hike documented on his Facebook page by his foster mom-turned-owner, Nora Vanatta.
Originally posted 05/13/2013 06:00AM
If you were too busy showering your mom with roses, chocolate, long-form poetry or however else you celebrated Mother's Day, we'll understand if you didn't keep up with the Kardashians this weekend.
Not to worry. We did.
Originally posted 05/09/2013 03:30PM
It's a bird. It's a plane – actually, it's a squirrel!
After her baby became stuck in a Pittsburgh, Pa., tree, a mama squirrel sprung into action to rescue her little one.
The youngster, thought to be about 8 weeks old, fell about 20 feet from a woodpecker's nest it had been snoozing in, according to photographer Carla Brandon. Before the baby could fall 25 more feet to the ground, its mother saved its fall, plucking the little ball of fur by the tail.
With Mother's Day right around the corner, we think it's safe to say she's more than deserving of a nice gift.
Originally posted 05/09/2013 07:00AM
It was supposed to be just another excursion down the Zambezi River for travel guide Paul Templer. He'd been in the business for years, taking in the same scenery trip after trip – until he got a view he'd never forget.
Seventeen years ago, at 27, Templer was leading a group of clients and three apprentice guides down the river near Zimbabwe's Victoria Falls in kayaks when a male hippo he had encountered before attacked them.
"The solid whack I felt behind me took me by surprise," Templer wrote recently in The Guardian newspaper as part of an essay that has since captivated the Internet. "I turned just in time to see [apprentice] Evans, who had been flung out of his boat, flying through the air. His boat, with his two clients still in it, had been lifted half out of the water on the back of the huge bull hippo."
Originally posted 05/08/2013 01:35PM
Let's play a quick game of word association. When we say "princess," what do you think of? Pink, pretty ... Kate Middleton? And when we say "monster," does your mind immediately go to darkness, terror and growling?
Put those two words together, and you have Princess Monster Truck, the latest Instagram cat celebrity we're purring over.
Her N.Y.C.-based owners, Tracy Timmons and Joseph Bryce, tell BuzzFeed this ball of black fluff "came tumbling out of a bush when we were walking home one night from dinner. Her hair was totally matted, she was really thin and obviously hungry." It was dark outside, so they didn't notice what was so special about her right way.
Originally posted 05/07/2013 02:00PM
We've watched many beautiful friendships blossom over the years – Thelma & Louise, George Clooney and Brad Pitt – but we're not sure if we've ever seen a companionship this cute. (No offense, George and Brad).
Vali the 16-month-old chimp and Bam Bam the 5-month-old grizzly bear made fast friends at Myrtle Beach Safari park, where they put their differences aside to play, cuddle, and more or less, melt our hearts.
The pair were introduced after the South Carolina's park staff realized they were about the same size. "We got them out there playing on a sunny day, and they went on and on for hours," said Park owner Bhagavan Antle. "Neither of them wanted to quit."
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