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"Warhol Cat," Paul Koudounaris

Another Cat Art Show Is Coming to L.A.

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"Warhol Cat," Paul Koudounaris

In 2014, the first-ever Cat Art Show Los Angeles brought in well-known artists like Tracey Emin to depict the wonders of the feline form. Two years later, the event is back and even more a-meow-zing than ever.

"We have asked each artist the basic question, what is the true meaning of cat for you—ally, domestic partner, enemy, frenemy, allergic reaction, or guru?” curator Susan Michals explains in a press release for Cat Art Show LA 2: The Sequel.

The artists' responses will be on display at Think Tank Gallery in downtown Los Angeles starting on March 24, with a portion of the proceeds going to Kitten Rescue. The collection will include creations by painter Mark Ryden, tattoo artist Kat Von D, illustrator Travis Lampe, and more. Michals describes the show as “a contemporary examination of the impact of cats in our lives.”

The cat makes for a particularly inspiring artistic prompt, as the first exhibition showed. Cats and humans have lived side by side for at least 9000 years, but they are not quite as domesticated as those other companion animals, dogs. Cats “seem to be constantly reevaluating the merits of our relationship, as well as their role in domestic life,” as writer Ferris Jabr observed in The New Yorker last year. Even the most dedicated cat owners sometimes doubt whether their feline pals return their affections. This rogue independence is incredibly alluring—so much so that some cat owners make upwards of six figures turning their pets into well-known personalities and memes.

The works in Cat Art Show range from tongue-in-cheek illustrations to somber photographs to intricate paintings. Witness the beauty of some serious cat art below.

"Sakura Night," Midori Furuhashi

“Gita and Patrick,” James Seward

“Jump,” Leslie Kirshhoff

"Night Out," Marc Dennis

"The Cucumber Incident," Jason Edward Davis

All images courtesy Think Tank Gallery

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FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images
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Animals
Fisherman Catches Rare Blue Lobster, Donates It to Science
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FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images

Live lobsters caught off the New England coast are typically brown, olive-green, or gray—which is why one New Hampshire fisherman was stunned when he snagged a blue one in mid-July.

As The Independent reports, Greg Ward, from Rye, New Hampshire, discovered the unusual lobster while examining his catch near the New Hampshire-Maine border. Ward initially thought the pale crustacean was an albino lobster, which some experts estimate to be a one-in-100-million discovery. However, a closer inspection revealed that the lobster's hard shell was blue and cream.

"This one was not all the way white and not all the way blue," Ward told The Portsmouth Herald. "I've never seen anything like it."

While not as rare as an albino lobster, blue lobsters are still a famously elusive catch: It's said that the odds of their occurrence are an estimated one in two million, although nobody knows the exact numbers.

Instead of eating the blue lobster, Ward decided to donate it to the Seacoast Science Center in Rye. There, it will be studied and displayed in a lobster tank with other unusually colored critters, including a second blue lobster, a bright orange lobster, and a calico-spotted lobster.

[h/t The Telegraph]

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Courtesy Murdoch University
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Animals
Australian Scientists Discover First New Species of Sunfish in 125 Years
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Courtesy Murdoch University

Scientists have pinpointed a whole new species of the largest bony fish in the world, the massive sunfish, as we learned from Smithsonian magazine. It's the first new species of sunfish proposed in more than 125 years.

As the researchers report in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, the genetic differences between the newly named hoodwinker sunfish (Mola tecta) and its other sunfish brethren was confirmed by data on 27 different samples of the species collected over the course of three years. Since sunfish are so massive—the biggest can weigh as much as 5000 pounds—they pose a challenge to preserve and store, even for museums with large research collections. Lead author Marianne Nyegaard of Murdoch University in Australia traveled thousands of miles to find and collected genetic data on sunfish stranded on beaches. At one point, she was asked if she would be bringing her own crane to collect one.

Nyegaard also went back through scientific literature dating back to the 1500s, sorting through descriptions of sea monsters and mermen to see if any of the documentation sounded like observations of the hoodwinker. "We retraced the steps of early naturalists and taxonomists to understand how such a large fish could have evaded discovery all this time," she said in a press statement. "Overall, we felt science had been repeatedly tricked by this cheeky species, which is why we named it the 'hoodwinker.'"

Japanese researchers first detected genetic differences between previously known sunfish and a new, unknown species 10 years ago, and this confirms the existence of a whole different type from species like the Mola mola or Mola ramsayi.

Mola tecta looks a little different from other sunfish, with a more slender body. As it grows, it doesn't develop the protruding snout or bumps that other sunfish exhibit. Similarly to the others, though, it can reach a length of 8 feet or more. 

Based on the stomach contents of some of the specimens studied, the hoodwinker likely feeds on salps, a jellyfish-like creature that it probably chomps on (yes, sunfish have teeth) during deep dives. The species has been found near New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and southern Chile.

[h/t Smithsonian]

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