Erin McCarthy
Erin McCarthy

10 Photos of Adorable Puppies at the AKC

Erin McCarthy
Erin McCarthy

This morning, in the world's most adorable press conference, the American Kennel Club announced that, for the 23rd year in a row, the Labrador Retriever is America's most popular pup—the longest reign in AKC history. (The Poodle has the second longest run at the top, with 22 years.) The AKC brought the top five breeds to their offices in Manhattan for a meet and greet; we were there to partake in the photo opps and cuddles. Here's what we learned.

All images courtesy of Getty unless otherwise noted.

1. The Lab nabbed the top spot; German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Beagles, Bulldogs, Yorkshire Terriers, Boxers, Poodles, Rottweilers, and Dachsunds round out the top 10. 

2. French Bulldogs haven't cracked the Top 10, but with a 323 percent increase in registrations since 2003, they managed nab the number 11 spot—its highest position since it was recognized as a breed in 1898. We got to play with six sweet puppies and their grandfather, Omar. 

3. New York City's most popular pup is ... the bulldog! (Photo by Erin McCarthy.)

4. They're also number one in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Newark.

5. NYC's neighborhoods also had a few favorite pups: Upper East Siders favor the Havanese, while Chelsea's top dog is the Beagle; Tribeca residents love Portuguese Water Dogs, but Astorians prefer the German Shepherd; people living in Staten Island's New Dorp 'hood are into Labs, and Park Slopers love Pugs. 

6. The Golden Retriever is becoming more popular in New York, rising from 9th place last year to number five this year.

7. Bigger breeds have been on the rise for the past five years. "As the economy has improved, people are turning back to the big dogs they love, which cost more to feed and care for than the smaller breeds that saw a rise in popularity in 2007 and 2008," AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson said in a press release.

8. Show dogs can have two names: Their registered name and a simpler call name (for example, the Best in Show winner of the 2009 AKC/Eukanuba National Championship dog show's registered name was CH Roundtown Mercedes of Maryscot, while her call name was Sadie). There are a whole slew of regulations a dog's registered name must fit. (Photo by Erin McCarthy.)

9. Even as puppies, German Shepherds have really big paws. This fuzzy little pup's owner said that she'll be around 75 pounds when she's fully grown. (Photo by Erin McCarthy.)

10. Beagles don't drool!

Scientists Capture the First Footage of an Anglerfish’s Parasitic Mating Ritual

The deep sea is full of alien-looking creatures, and the fanfin anglerfish is no exception. The toothy Caulophryne jordani, with its expandable stomach and glowing lure and fin rays, is notable not just for its weird looks, but also its odd mating method, which has been captured in the wild on video for the first time, as CNET and Science report.

If you saw a male anglerfish and a female anglerfish together, you would probably not recognize them as the same species. In fact, in the video below, you might not be able to find the male at all. The male anglerfish is lure-less and teeny-tiny (as much as 60 times smaller in length) compared to his lady love.

And he's kind of a deadbeat boyfriend. The male anglerfish attaches to the female's belly in a parasitic mating ritual that involves biting into her and latching on, fusing with her so that he can get his nutrients straight from her blood. He stays there for the rest of his fishy life, fertilizing her eggs and eventually becoming part of her body completely.

Observing an anglerfish in action, or really at all, is extremely difficult. There are only 14 dead specimens from this particular anglerfish species held at natural history museums throughout the world, and they are all female. Since anglerfish can't live in the lab, seeing them in their natural habitat is the only way to observe them. This video, shot in 2016 off the coast of Portugal by researchers with the Rebikoff-Niggeler Foundation, is only the third time we've been able to record deep-sea anglerfish behavior.

Take a look for yourself, and be grateful that your own relationship isn't quite so codependent.

[h/t CNET]

Cockroach DNA Shows Why They're Basically Indestructible

Most people are all too aware that cockroaches are horrifyingly resilient beings. Yes, they can and have survived nuclear blasts, and surely stand to inherit the Earth after we all succumb to the apocalypse. Why is this creature able to thrive in the face of pesticides, the loss of limbs, disgusting conditions, a range of climates, and even nuclear fallout, in urban kitchens across the world? As Inside Science reports, a new study on the genome of the American cockroach shows that certain genes are key to its wild evolutionary success.

In an article published in Nature Communications, researchers from South China Normal University in Guangzhou, China report that they sequenced and analyzed the genome of Periplaneta americana, and in the process they discovered just how indestructible this scourge is. They found that the cockroach (native to Africa, despite its American moniker) has more DNA than any other insect whose DNA has been sequenced except the migratory locust. The size of its genome—3.3 billion base pairs—is comparable to that of humans.

They have a huge number of gene families (several times the number other insects have) related to sensory reception, with 154 smell receptors and 522 taste receptors, including 329 taste receptors specifically related to bitter tastes. These extra smell and taste receptors may help cockroaches avoid toxic food (say, your household pesticide) and give them the ability to adapt to a multitude of different diets in different environments.

They also have killer immune systems able to withstand pathogens they might pick up from the rotting food they eat and the filth they like to live in. They have many more genes related to immunity compared to other insects.

The genome analysis might give us more than just a newfound respect for this revolting pest. The researchers hope to find a way to harness this new knowledge of cockroach immunity to control vermin populations—and create an eradication method slightly more effective than just stomping on them.

[h/t Inside Science]


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