TIME animals

Here’s What Life Looks Like From Your Dog’s Point of View

And oh, what a life it is

Haven’t you always wondered what life is like as a dog? Well, obviously you already know that life as a dog would be awesome, but somebody decided to strap a GoPro camera to their pooch to offer a rare glimpse at the world through canine eyes.

Watch as this puppy named Stella frolics through a farm doing dog-like things like splashing around in a stream and generally enjoying everything the world has to offer. Well, this confirms it: being a dog would be the BEST, and being a human is pretty much the worst.

TIME Environment

The World’s Most Endangered Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises

Slow and steady may win the race, but on World Turtle Day, these animals are struggling to survive

Is there anything more harmless than a turtle? (Unless, I suppose, you’re a nice, leafy vegetable.) Turtles and tortoises—the main difference is that turtles dwell at least partially in water, while tortoises live exclusively on land—are slow-moving, peaceful animals whose main form of protection from the outside world is a hard shell. Not for nothing do we have the fable of the slow and steady tortoise winning the race. Turtles have existed in some form for more than 220 million years, outlasting their early contemporaries the dinosaurs. Long-lived turtles and tortoises are symbols of perseverance in the natural world.

Unfortunately, the rules of the race are changing. Turtles and tortoises are among the world’s most endangered vertebrates, with about half their more than 300 species threatened with extinction. Only primates—human beings expected—are at greater risk of being wiped off the planet. The threats are many. The animals are collected by traders, eaten in the wild and in fine restaurants, used as pets or for traditional medicine, and sometimes simply killed. The very adaptations that once made them so successful—their long adult life span and delayed sexual maturity—has made them vulnerable as the world around them changed, mostly thanks to human beings. Climate change threatens them as well—a recent study found that as the water warms, more and more sea turtle hatchlings are being born male, which could eventually make it impossible for the species to reproduce successfully.

A 2011 report from the Turtle Conservation Coalition makes it clear: we need to act now if we’re to save the turtles and the tortoises:

We are facing a turtle survival crisis unprecedented in its severity and risk. Humans are the problem, and must therefore also be the solution. Without concerted conservation action, many of the world’s turtles and tortoises will become extinct within the next few decades. It is now up to us to prevent the loss of these remarkable, unique jewels of evolution.

As we mark World Turtle Day on May 23, spare a thought for these armored but endangered creatures.

TIME animals

The World’s Best Job Is Hiring: Panda Nanny

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Philip Game / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images

Earn $32,000 a year by hanging out with adorable baby pandas

As the old saying goes, choose a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. If you’re anything like me, though, the only things you love are watching old episodes of Daria, eating cereal and petting cute animals — and nobody is going to pay you to do those things.

But wait! Yes they will! Well, not the watching Daria or eating cereal part, but the playing with cute animals part. China’s Giant Panda Protection and Research Center is now recruiting caretakers whose chief duties will be to hang out with panda cubs and love them and cuddle them.

These so-called panda nannies will earn 200,000 yuan ($32,000) a year and will receive free meals, transit and accommodations, ChinaDaily reports.

“Your work has only one mission,” organizers said. “Spending 365 days with the pandas and sharing in their joys and sorrows.” Um, done and done.

The center is accepting applications now through July 15 at fun.sohu.com. Applicants should be at least 22 and should have “some basic knowledge of pandas.” Uh, I know that they’re really cute and fluffy — does that count as basic knowledge? Please hire me.

TIME animals

The Kiwi, New Zealand’s National Bird, Isn’t From Australia After All

A keeper holds in his hands two Kiwi chi
A keeper holds in his hands two Kiwi chicks at the zoo on June 19, 2012 in Berlin. Johannes Eisele—AFP/Getty Images

The kiwi is not related to the emu, as scientists originally believed

The kiwi, a bird endemic to New Zealand, was long believed to be an Australian import. However, new research published Thursday in the journal Science found that the kiwi’s origins aren’t so simple.

Researchers at the University of Adelaide’s Australian Centre for Ancient DNA discovered that the kiwi is not closely related to Australia’s Emu as previously thought. Rather, its closest relative is the Madagascan elephant bird. DNA extracted from the bones of two elephant birds at the Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa, revealed a genetic connection between the elephant bird and the kiwi despite their physical and geographical dissimilarities.

Scientists say that the connection between the two also means that the kiwi, now a flightless bird, once took to the skies.

“This result was about as unexpected as you could get,” Kieren Mitchell, PhD candidate with ACAD, said in a statement. “New Zealand and Madagascar were only ever distantly physically joined via Antarctica and Australia, so this result shows the ratites (a group of flightless birds) must have dispersed around the world by flight.”

TIME animals

Baby Shows Off His Sharing Skills by Giving Some of His Milk to a Kitten

He is so selfless and giving!

This video features a cute baby feeding a cute kitten. That’s kind of all you need to know.

TIME animals

This Baby Goat in a Wheelchair Will Remind You Why Life Is Precious

Say "awwww"

Meet Frostie, a baby snow goat that can’t use its limbs because of a debilitating infection called joint naval ill, according to a video uploaded this week by Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary, an Australian non-profit that cares for more than 250 rescued animals. Using a wheelchair, Frostie can now freely move towards friendly strangers to sniff their noses, back away from them when they try to pet him, and nibble grass.

WATCH: Disabled Piglet Named Leon Trotsky Gets High Marx for Its Bravery

WATCH: These Baby Goats Prancing Around a Living Room Is Unfathomably Adorable

WATCH: Hero Pig Saves Baby Goat from Drowning

WATCH: The Year of Screaming Goats on YouTube

TIME animals

Watch a Mama Bear Rescue Her Baby Cub From a Busy Freeway

Fulfilling all stereotypes

This video shows a Mama Bear doing what Mama Bears do best: saving her cub.

Tornado hunter Ricky Forbes doesn’t only have your new dream job, but he also captured pretty incredible footage of a black bear cub getting pulled off the highway outside of British Columbia’s Kootenay National Park.

TIME

Here’s What Happens When You Ask a Cat to Throw the First Pitch at a Baseball Game

Somehow we don't think this is the reward hero cat really wanted


Tara the heroic cat was asked to throw the first pitch at a minor league baseball game after a video of her saving her small human from an attacking dog went viral.

It went as well as you would imagine a cat throwing a baseball could go.

And she still did better than Carly Rae Jepsen.

TIME animals

Mice Run on Wheel for Fun, Study Finds

A new study conducted in the Netherlands shows mice enjoy running on a wheel enough to do it in the wild, and not just when they're caged

Mice just want to have fun. New research shows that when an exercise wheel sits in a forest, mice will voluntarily run on it.

Scientists say this proves that wheel-running is not a neurotic behaviour linked to caged animals, but actually something they enjoy doing.

Researchers in the Netherlands, at the Leiden University Medical Centre, did an experiment by placing exercise wheels outdoors and monitoring the wheels with motion detectors and cameras. And after recording 12,000 snippets of video showing mice running on the wheels on their own accord, the researchers published the results.

“When I saw the first mice, I was extremely happy,” said Johanna Meijer, a brain electrophysiologist who studies biological rhythms in mice, the New York Times reports. “I had to laugh about the results, but at the same time, I take it very seriously. It’s funny, and it’s important at the same time.”

Meijer and Leiden University researcher Yuri Robbers were inspired to do the experiment after animal welfare committees questioned whether mice enjoyed running or whether the behavior was caused by stress.

Although most peer reviews have been positive, Mark Bekoff, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado, said he thought the study showed that wheel-running could be a voluntary activity but that when caged, mice might do it more out of stress of confinement.

 

TIME animals

We Should All Aspire to Be as Joyful and Free as This Chinchilla Rolling Around in a Dust Bath

He's just living his best life

Here’s a fun fact about chinchillas: they clean their fur by rolling around in dust. Another fun fact about chinchillas is that they’re adorable, but that one is a bit more obvious.

The YouTube channel ChinTubeHD (perfect name) has shared a a video of a chinchilla named Taro, “a veteran dust bather,” going to town in 1.5 pounds of fresh dust in a wooden ship. He looks so joyful and free as he just rolls around with abandon. It’s officially time to retire the slogan “Live every week like it’s shark week.” Instead, here’s a new motto to live by: Live every minute like you’re a chinchilla taking a dust bath.

Here’s what Taro looks like when he’s all clean and dust-free:

 

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