TIME animals

This Adorably Frustrated Puppy Has No Idea How to Pick Up a Frisbee

But it's so entertaining to watch him try

Puppies are cute, but frustrated, flailing puppies are even cuter. Like this clumsy Great Dane puppy who’s trying desperately to pick up a frisbee but cannot for the life of of him figure out how to make that happen.

He tries jumping on it, pouncing on it, kicking it, scratching it, sliding it across the floor, and chewing it, but none of these strategies pan out. After 40 seconds of focused efforts, he seems to give up and walk away.

We hope his humans helped him out—but only after watching him struggle a bit longer.

(h/t Jezebel)

TIME animals

Meet Grumpy Cat’s Newest Competitor

Sauerkraut could be trouble

This kitty is a true sour puss.

Sauerkraut is one of the newest frowny felines to find fame following Grumpy Cat’s meteoric rise to the top pet celebrity spot.

Like the almighty GC, Sauerkraut looks grumpy by nature, but is actually a big softie on the inside. The cross-looking cat currently resides at her forever home in Oklahoma, according to her website.

Sauerkraut was originally taken in by her pet parents as a foster kitten from theCentral Oklahoma Humane Society. When she was old enough to be adopted, her foster family decided to keep her.

Now the feline spends her days posing for photos and stealing snuggles from her friends and family. All the meowdeling must be working, because Sauerkraut currently has more than 31,000 followers on Instagram.

Unlike many other kitties, Sauerkraut also enjoys wearing a varied wardrobe. All these clothes help the celeb pet deal with her feline hyperesthesia, a condition that involves an abnormal increase in the sensitivity to different stimuli.

Revel in Sauerkraut’s grumpy glare, fabulous clothes and sweet demeanor by checking out the photos below.

I'm ready to go shopping and spend all my Christmas cash! Get a moving Humom! #sauerkraut #coach

A photo posted by Sauerkraut (@thesauerkrautkitty) on

This article originally appeared on People.com

TIME animals

Watch an Adorable Pug Puppy Reenact This Year’s Oscar Nominees

All the Best Picture noms become so much cuter and less depressing

Still haven’t seen all the Best Picture nominees in time for the Academy Awards this Sunday? No problem! Just watch this video, created by The Pet Collective, which reenacts all eight films in just three minutes using a painfully cute baby pug.

All the movies get new, dog-appropriate titles, like American Sniffer, Selmutt and Puphood. The pug totally nails all the roles — even if some, like Stephen Hawking, are maybe a tad insensitive. Mostly, though, it’s just really, really cute.

This video should get all the Oscars instead of the actual movies.

Read next: Everything You Need to Know About This Year’s Oscars

TIME animals

These Red Pandas Frolicking in the Snow Will Remind You Everything Is Going to Be OK

Best snow day ever

The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden knows how to warm your heart on even the coldest day.

The zoo posted a video of its two resident red pandas frolicking in the snow and their glee is almost enough to remind snowbound residents to go outside and play instead of watching The Shining again.

The video was taken by zookeeper Lissa Browning and shows Lin, a 2-year-old female, and Rover, a 9-year-old male, cavorting in their snow-covered pen. Red pandas are used to cold weather as they are natives of the Himalayas and it’s clear they love romping in the snow.

As people continue to dig out from the winter storms that have buried much of the Midwest and East Coast of the United States in snow, this video serves as a good reminder that winter can actually be fun.

Read next: See Photos of Endangered Species from the 1960s

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME animals

See Photos of Endangered Species from the 1960s

Meet Zata, Henry and Hilda, who took a star turn in LIFE as the magazine documented efforts to restore populations of oryxes, ocelots, orangutans, okapi and more

This week, the Oregon chub was removed from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Animals, becoming the first fish ever to shed its endangered status. When it was placed on the list in 1993, there were fewer than 1,000 of the minnow species left. Today there are more than 140,000.

In the years since the first official list of threatened and endangered species was published in 1967, 28 species have been recovered, 10 have become (or were discovered to already be) extinct, and more than 2,000 species have joined the original 78.

Though the notion of extinction entered public awareness at the turn of the 20th century and the federal government began taking steps to protect certain species then, it wasn’t until the 1960s that environmental activism pressured the government to be more proactive in identifying and taking measures to protect threatened species. The first significant piece of legislation, the Endangered Species Protection Act, was passed in 1966, followed by an amendment in 1969 and a reworking in the 1973 Endangered Species Act.

In the period leading up to these legislative acts, the zookeeper community was collaborating on strategies they could undertake toward preservation. An August 1964 article in LIFE reported on the creation of “special survival and propagation centers where pairs and herds of endangered species can propagate in peace and quiet.” The magazine sent photographer Nina Leen on an assignment to document these species in the new habitats being set aside for them.

Nineteen U.S. zoos formed the Wild Animal Propagation Trust, addressing issues that had prevented species in captivity from successfully mating in the past. Rhinos in the wild are undisturbed during mating season; their new protected habitats would ensure the same treatment. Baby orangutans abandoned by their mothers would be raised in special nursery facilities. If the Trust succeeded in regenerating species, they hoped to reintroduce some of the animals into their natural habitats.

LIFE also explored advances in the scientific understanding of mating rituals. A male and female gorilla at the Bronx Zoo, Oka and Mambo, had expressed a “mammoth indifference for one another,” refusing to mate. Researchers came to understand that male gorillas raised in captivity, having no exposure to mating in the wild, had not learned proper mating behavior. Polar bears, which in the wild are accustomed to privacy during birth, were killing their newborn cubs because of the throngs of spectators present at their births. Understanding the animals’ behavior in the wild helped zookeepers create environments more conducive to procreation.

All of the species photographed for the story remain threatened or endangered 50 years later. The attention and, ultimately, funding that certain species get can be linked to the public’s awareness of and appreciation for them—the whales, for example, are high on many people’s list of animals in need of saving. So if you want to step in and support the underdog, consider the clam, of which more than 100 species are endangered. “Save the Georgia Pigtoe Clam” has a nice ring to it.

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LizabethRonk.

TIME animals

Why Hundreds of Starving Sea Lion Pups Are Washing Up in California

Starving Baby Sea Lions Washing Up On California Beaches
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images A sick California sea lion pup sits in an enclosure at the Marine Mammal Center on Feb. 12, 2015 in Sausalito, California.

It's getting so bad that many rescue networks are at capacity

There are now so many young sea lions being stranded on the West Coast that federal officials say they can’t keep up. As a result, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued some brutal advice Wednesday: If you see a beached sea lion pup, call the authorities, but be prepared for them not to come—at least for a while.

Normally the marine mammal stranding network, a series of facilities dotted along the U.S. coastline, will send staff to take in any seal or sea lion pup found stranded and do their best to rehabilitate it. But many facilities in the network are nearing capacity as sea lions wash ashore at a much higher than average rate. Since Jan. 1, rescuers in California have taken in about 1,000 pups—nearly four times the typical total for the first four months of the year.

“The reality is that we can’t get to all of these animals,” says NOAA stranding coordinator Justin Viezbicke.

So what’s going on? Experts at NOAA say that the culprit is rising ocean temperatures. (On a call with reporters Wednesday, a NOAA climate expert said that they do not believe the stranding increase is tied to climate change.) The warm temperatures are somehow affecting the squid, sardines and other animals that are the core diet of sea lions, perhaps driving the prey deeper into the water or farther offshore. So when mothers swim off to forage from the Channel Islands, where pups are weaned every year, they are having to stay away longer before they can come back to nurse. With less frequent nursing, pups are losing weight at unprecedented rates, and experts suspect that these weak, under-grown animals are being driven to look for food on their own before they are ready.

“They’re not really capable of diving deep or traveling far,” says Sharon Melin, a NOAA wildlife biologist. “They’re not really capable of being out on their own.” And so the pups are washing up on shore, emaciated.

The root cause of the crisis, officials believe, is the odd wind patterns that aren’t cooling the ocean like they normally do. They aren’t certain of what’s behind the lack of cold winds, but they believe the patterns are creating a ripple effect through the food chain. The sea lions, at the top of that chain, are signaling that bigger things may be amiss among the larger marine food web. “There are a lot of puzzles here that we’re trying to put together,” says Nate Mantua, a NOAA climatologist. “We don’t understand it. It’s a mystery.”

This is the third bleak year in the past decade for sea lion pups. In 2013, up to 70% of all the sea lion pups born the previous year may have died due to environmental events, according to Melin, twice the amount that might not make it to maturity in a normal year. Officials say this year’s pups appear more under-nourished than any they’ve observed in the past 40 years.

And even when pups get to a rehabilitation facility, they might not make it back to sea. The Marine Mammal Center, the largest facility in California’s stranding network, saved about 60% of the animals who came to them in 2013. “The sea lion pups arriving at the Marine Mammal Center may look like barely more than skin and bones,” says Shawn Johnson, the facility’s director of veterinary science, “but these are the lucky ones.”

The mass strandings have not diminished the overall population of California sea lions, which has been thriving since becoming a protected species in the 1970s. Now around 300,000 in number, NOAA’s Melin says that another factor at work in the current crisis may be that the species is approaching its resource limit in the environment. “Based on what we’re seeing at the colonies,” she says, “we should be bracing for a lot more animals to be coming in.”

TIME animals

This Monkey Just Won Big at the Oscars for Animal Actors

The Pawscars is the only award show that matters

Correction appended, February 20

Four days before the Oscars, the American Humane Association hosted what is quite possibly Hollywood’s second most important awards ceremony: the Pawscars.

The award show recognizes the industry’s most hard working animal actors. And my, didn’t they look fabulous on that red carpet:

Crystal — a Capuchin monkey who has starred in films including Night at the Museum and The Hangover: Part II — received the Lifetime Diva Achievement award. Host Pauley Perrette (NCIS) dubbed the primate, who was wearing a pink ball gown with a pearl necklace, “the Angelina Jolie of animal stars” before awarding her a trophy.

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 12.19.57 PM

But she wasn’t the only winner.

Best Young Animal Actor went to a trio of pit bull puppies — T, Puppers, and Ice — who played Rocco in James Gandolfini’s last movie The Drop:

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 12.33.34 PM

Best Aquatic Performance went to Savannah the dolphin who starred in Dolphin Tale 2:

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 12.32.42 PM

 

 

 

 

 

And Best Magical Cow obviously went to Tug from Into The Woods:

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 12.32.28 PM

You can see other winners here:

No animals were harmed in the making of this award ceremony.

Correction: The original story misstated the organization that hosts the Pawscars. It is the American Humane Association.

TIME animals

Watch This Cute Dog Dutifully Walking Another Cute Dog

What a world

Having to walk your dog when it’s cold and snowy can be rough, but what if you could just get your dogs to walk each other? We now believe that could be possible, based on this video of a white lab taking a dachshund for a nice stroll in the snow.

Watch as he takes the smaller pooch’s leash in his mouth and then walks him just like a human would. Bonus: the dachshund is super bouncy and cute when he walks. Enjoy.

(h/t Daily Dot)

 

TIME animals

Penguins No Longer Have a Strong Ability to Taste

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Getty Images

Sweet, bitter and umami flavors can no longer be detected by penguins

Penguins no longer taste their food the way most of the animal kingdom does, according to a new study.

According to the researchers, vertebrates usually have five tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami. But after studying the genetic sequencing of Adelie and emperor penguins, analyzing penguin tissue, and comparing the birds genomes to 14 other non-penguin bird species, the researchers discovered that penguins have lost all but the salty and sour tastes.

“Penguins eat fish, so you would guess that they need the umami receptor genes, but for some reason they don’t have them,” said study author Jianzhi Zhang, a professor at the University of Michigan Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in a statement. “These findings are surprising and puzzling, and we do not have a good explanation for them. But we have a few ideas.”

The researchers believe that perhaps over 20 million years ago, the freezing climates of the arctic somehow interfered with the penguins’ ability to taste.

The researchers of the new study, published in the journal Current Biology, were tipped off to the lack of taste among penguins when they were contacted by a genomics institute in China called BGI which had originally sequenced the genomes of the Adelie and emperor penguins and couldn’t find their taste genes.

The researchers there asked the University of Michigan researchers to take a second look to see if what they found was true. Unfortunately for the penguins, they may be missing out on the variety of flavors found in their favorite fish.

TIME animals

Meet the World’s Oldest Living Cat

Tiffany was born in San Diego in 1988

Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin – they all passed away at age 27. Tiffany is bound to outlive them.

Though she’s a cat, not a singer, Tiffany is a superstar in her own right: Guinness World Records named the 26-year-old black-and-orange tortoiseshell feline the world’s Oldest Living Cat on Feb. 6 – and on March 13 she’s turning the ripe old age of 27.

Born in 1988 in San Diego, California, Tiffany was bought by her owner Sharon Voorhees from a local pet shop at just 6 weeks old, according to press materials distributed by Guinness. The cat’s full name is Tiffany Two, a nod to another tortoiseshell cat Voorhees owned earlier.

She may be approaching 27, but Tiffany is still a kitten at heart. She has good sight and hearing, and only occasionally deals with minor health issues like high blood pressure.

“She’s not afraid of anything or anyone. She walks right past the dogs, she’s very feisty,” Voorhees told Guinness World Records.

When the cat celebrates her birthday like a rock star next month, she’ll be wishing for at least another 11 happy years of life: The oldest cat ever reported, Creme Puff, lived an unbelievable 38 years and 3 days.

This article originally appeared on People.com.

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