When these scientists battled it out to identify the world's cutest animals, we all won.

An intense competition dubbed the #CuteOff flooded Twitter feeds.

Hundreds of people — scientists and laypeople alike — posted photographs of creatures they found worthy of the title of cutest animal on earth. National Geographic reports that the starting gun was a tweet by ecologist Anne Hilborn.



Apparently, Hilborn was also the catalyst for the famed #JunkOff from the week prior, in which scientists shared photos of rarely seen animal genitalia. But we'll spare you those images.

The event even spawned factions, with groups rooting for bugs (#TeamEntomology), birds (#TeamOrnithology), reptiles (#TeamHerpetology), fish (#TeamIchthyology), and mammals (#TeamMammal) hashtagging their alliances.

People may have treated the #CuteOff like a contest, but with this digital deluge of dorbz, we're all winners.

Without further ado, please enjoy a sampling of some of my favorite entries.

Tiny domestic turtle. Check.


A frog waving like a human? There's a frontrunner.


OK, I see you bugs. You can be cute, too.


Tiny fish, you're all right in my book.


Ugh. Stop it. Really? OK, don't.


Clearly, I'm a sucker for common DNA.


Please stay a baby. Forever.


These guys are maxed out on cuteness.


Do not touch the animals ... unless you're tickling this baby penguin.


Uhhh ... I'm not sure, but ... yes. Please. Thank you.


It's not beauty rest. It's cutey rest. (Yes I did.)


And finally, my favoritest of the bunch. How can you not want to squeeze it into nothingness??? Scratch that. They're endangered.


Can you believe the world is filled with stuff like this? Let's try to keep it that way, eh?

True

When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

This article originally appeared on 04.13.18


Teens have a knack for coming up with clever ways to rage against the system.

When I was in high school, the most notorious urban legend whispered about in hallways and at parties went like this: A teacher told his class that they were allowed to put "anything" on a notecard to assist them during a science test. Supposedly, one of his students arrived on test day with a grown adult at his side — a college chemistry major, who proceeded to stand on the notecard and give him answers. The teacher was apparently so impressed by the student's cunning that he gave him a high score, then canceled class for the rest of the week because he was in such a good mood.

Of course, I didn't know anyone who'd ever actually try such a thing. Why ruin a good story with reality — that pulling this kind of trick would probably earn you detention?

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