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A new species is evolving before scientists’ eyes in the eastern United States.

Wolves faced with a diminishing number of potential mates are lowering their standards and mating with other, similar species, reported The Economist.

The interbreeding began up to 200 years ago, as European settlers pushed into southern Ontario and cleared the animal’s habitat for farming and killed a large number of the wolves that lived there.

That also allowed coyotes to spread from the prairies, and the white farmers brought dogs into the region.

Over time, wolves began mating with their new, genetically similar neighbors.

The resulting offspring — which has been called the eastern coyote or, to some, the “coywolf” — now number in the millions, according to researchers at North Carolina State University.

Interspecies-bred animals are typically less vigorous than their parents, The Economist reported — if the offspring survive at all.

That’s not the case at all with the wolf-coyote-dog hybrid, which has developed into a sum greater than the whole of its parts.

At about 55 pounds, the hybrid animal is about twice as heavy as a standard coyote, and her large jaws, faster legs and muscular body allow her to take down small deer and even hunt moose in packs, and the animal is skilled at hunting in both open terrain and dense woodland.

An analysis of 437 hybrid animals found that coyote DNA dominates her genetic makeup, with about one-tenth of its DNA from dogs, usually larger dogs such as Doberman pinschers and German shepherds, and a quarter from wolves.

The animal’s cry starts out as a deep-pitched wolf howl that morphs into higher-pitched yipping — like a coyote.

Her dog DNA may carry an additional advantage.

Some scientists think the hybrid animal is able to adapt to city life — which neither coyotes or wolves have managed to do on their own — because her dog ancestry allows her  to tolerate people and noise.

The coywolves have spread into some of the nation’s largest cities — including New York, Boston and Washington — using railway corridors.

The interbreeding allows the animal to diversify her diet and eat discarded food, along with rodents and smaller mammals — including cats, which coywolves eat skull and all — and they have evolved to become nocturnal to avoid humans.

The animals are also smart enough to learn to look both ways before crossing roads.

Not all researchers agree the animal is a distinct species, arguing that one species does not interbreed with another — although the hybrid’s existence raises the question of whether wolves and coyotes are distinct species in the first place.

But scientists who have studied the animal say the mixing of genes has been much faster, extensive and transformational than anyone had noticed until fairly recently.

“(This) amazing contemporary evolution story (is) happening right underneath our nose,” said Roland Kays, a researcher at North Carolina State.

Watch this report on coywolves.

Raw Story

15-Year-Old Dying Dog Lives To See Owner Get Married

Kelly O’Connell first met her black named Charlie when he was the tender age of 12 weeks old. Earlier in the year 15-year-old Charlie was diagnosed with a brain tumor, which made him extremely weak. Although O’Connell was ready to put him down, the week of the wedding ceremony he experienced no seizures and seemed like a brand new dog.

Keep reading

A desperate call for help...

This is  Akito, my daughter’s tomcat

when he was born…(fun fact…he was born on my daughters birthday)

when he opened his eyes and went for a little adventure out of his birth box for the first time…

playing with his brother…

cuddling with his uncle…

he loves his uncle so much…

being very curious about this thing i keep holding in front of him aka my phone camera…

chilling with his brother…

just doing tomcat things ;)

OK…now to the point of this post…

Akito got hit by a car yesterday (that asshole didn’t even stop after running him over to help!!!) I heard it from afar cause i was going for a walk with my dog and thankfully i was there fast to get him from the street (i don’t even want to imagine me not being there fast enough). 

Good news…He survived!!! 

He has a double fracture on his left foreleg and his jaw is also broken but he survived!!!

Bad news is that he needs an OP, wich will cost approximately 1200 Euro (yes you read that right) and the clinic wants cash the moment i fetch him. I asked for paying in several parts but they told me very clearly that they don’t do that under any circumstances. 

I’m absolutely heartbroken. I don’t have 1200 Euro lying around in the house! But i also can’t make the life of my daughter’s cat depend on money, can i???

I already asked all my friends and family members and since i am really absolutely desperate i am also asking you for help…

I have no idea if any of you would consider to donate what ever small amount of money you could spare to a stranger on the internet…but i have to try. 

If everyone of my followers would just donate 1 Euro, we could pay for his OP’s and aftercare! 

Please help me?

If you can’t help me with money, would you please be so kind and reblog this post so it will reach as much people as possible? 

Thank you so much in advance to all of you helping!!!

Love Soul

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Handpainted Animal Pillows by Francesca Mosmea

A self-proclaimed “crazy cat lady,” artist Francesa Mosmea has an affinity for drawing cats. As one of her favorite subjects, Mosmea handprints each feline figure using a delicate hand, which mimics the effect of pencil on paper.

Each animal illustration is delicately composed on white cotton fabric with the help of permanent non-toxic colors. The adorable pillows usually take the shape of the animal silhouettes, which delivers a playful and super cute decorative item. Find them in her Etsy shop.

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