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In this adorable video, an orangutan becomes an unusual but loving adopted mother to two tiger cubs. Watch her give them plenty of hugs, playfully wrestle with them, and feed them from a bottle. You have to see it to believe it!

 

Photo Credit: YouTube

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Your pet cat's DNA is more wild than you think. Maybe you don’t see it right now but when your cat was ripping up your drapes last week, he was showing some of his genetic wild side.

While it's nice to have cats inside our home for comfort or companionship, their genetics might push them to demand more freedom. This all comes from research supported by Washington University in St. Louis that found our feline friends are slightly less domesticated than previously thought.

Since 9,000 years ago, humans have been domesticating cats by feeding them and providing a place to call home. However they have been able retain the ability to hunt and kill their own food, proving their master's care isn't all that they need to survive. It's not that they don't love us or that ripped-up toy anymore, it's just part of their DNA.

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"We believe we have created the first preliminary evidence that depicts domestic cats as not that far removed from wildcat populations," said Wes Warren, an associate professor of genomics at Washington University in St. Louis.

While the research they found highlights the fact that felines love to roam free, that does not mean their human counterparts have failed to make an impact. 

Cats were originally used in homes to hunt rodents and then humans rewarded them with food. According to researchers, this lead to subsequent changes in behavior and appearance that resulted in more docile (but not quite fully domesticated) cats and produced colors and fur patterns that humans liked.

According to research from the University of Washington in St. Louis, "Our results suggest that selection for docility, as a result of becoming accustomed to humans for food rewards, was most likely the major force that altered the first domesticated cat genomes." 

While researches offer a highly specialized hypothesis the bottom line is cats came into the home to kill rodents, but stayed for the food supplied by their masters. 

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Ever wonder why boxing kangaroos always seem to have a mean left hook? Well according to new biological research, kangaroos are left handed. Professor Yegor Malashichev from the State University of Sankt Petersburg made the discovery while researching the behavior patterns of Australian kangaroos.

Malashichev found that kangaroos preferred to use their left hand when it came to activities that required fine skills like grasping tree leaves and shaking tree branches. He also observed that when it came to activities that required strength, the marsupials would typically use their right hand.

The kangaroo’s unusual preference for their left hand led Malashichev to make another interesting discovery - kangaroos have a different brain structure than the rest of mammals. Although they do have the mammal standard of two hemispheres in their brain, neither side is more developed than the other, which is highly unusual.  

This discovery explains why it seems that kangaroos can be ambidextrous when need be, but it doesn’t explain how they determine which hand to use for which task. Until more research can be done, the reason kangaroos are lefties will remain one of nature's most adorable mysteries. 

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Summertime is always the perfect time to take a dip in the pool, no matter if you have two legs or four. The Melbourne Zoo in Australia recently posted an adorable video of Obi, a pygmy hippo who was born at the zoo in May, embracing some summertime fun and hopping into the water for the first time.

Obi wasted no time at all making a splash in the zoo's big pool and getting in his first swimming lesson from his mom, Petre. The little hippo happily swam around, popping in and out of the water. Obi is the first member of his species to be born at the zoo, and when full-grown, he'll weigh around 100lbs and stand less than two feet tall.

Make sure to watch the adorable video of Obi splashing around below.

Photo Credit: YouTube

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Everyone, please get your handkerchiefs at the ready because the story of Lizzy the koala and her joey, Phantom, is going to bring a tear to your eye. 

It all started when Lizzy and Phantom were traveling along the Warrego Highway in Coominya, Australia. A car struck the pair which left Lizzy with head trauma and a collapsed lung. Phantom thankfully managed to escape without sustaining any injuries. The mother-son duo were taken to the Australian Zoo Wildlife Hospital in Queensland, where Lizzy received the treatment she needed. 

And now this is where the "aww" factor comes in - during  Lizzy's operation, Phantom made sure to hold his injured mama in his arms the entire time. The team at the wildlife hospital captured the little koala's sweet gesture of love and support for his mom in a series of adorable photographs. 

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baby-koala-2Photo Credit: Buzzfeed

Lizzy is now firmly on her way to recovery, but according to a spokesperson for the Australian Zoo Wildlife Hospital, Phantom is still holding on tight to his mom, and we doubt the little guy is going to let go anytime soon. 

Now if you'll please excuse us, we're going to go find our mom and give her the biggest hug we can manage. 

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