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15 Adorable Images of Cats Sticking Out Their Tongues

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Cat lovers have their pick of feline-themed coffee table literature to choose from. If photos of wet cats shaking themselves dry aren’t your style, there’s now an entire book devoted to pictures of cats sticking out their tongues.

According to Nerdist, Nekojita (“cat tongue” in Japanese) celebrates the cuddly creatures in their derpiest form. The book was recently released by the Japanese publisher J-List, which is better known for producing manga than pet photography. The description reads:

“Enjoy funny cat pictures with different types of breeds showing off their tongues in various ways from a little bit of their tongue sticking out to licking something continuously […] Recommended for cat lovers.”

The 80-page book is only available in Japanese for now, but as you can see from the highlights allow, each picture speaks for itself.

1. This cat is definitely not in the mood for a tongue bath.

2. Being a cat model is exhausting work.

3. Pictured: utter contentment.

4. This cat seems to be contemplating whether or not to stick its tongue out all the way.

5. An adorable perspective for us—for a mouse, not so much.

6. This subject would rather be taking a catnap.

7. When you’ve fallen and you can’t get up, stick out your tongue.

8. This isn’t what we’d think to bring to a picnic, but we’re not complaining.

9. A fabulous feline stares wistfully into the distance.

10. This cat is doing its best lion impression.

11. We’re guessing there was a can of tuna just outside the frame of this one.

12. When you tell your cat you’re adopting a puppy …

13. This kitten just discovered it has paws and it does not know how to feel.

14. This cat has spotted a mouse just out of frame ...

15. And finally, a cat that makes poking out its tongue look regal.

All images courtesy of J-List.

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Animals
Where Do Birds Get Their Songs?
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iStock

Birds display some of the most impressive vocal abilities in the animal kingdom. They can be heard across great distances, mimic human speech, and even sing using distinct dialects and syntax. The most complex songs take some practice to learn, but as TED-Ed explains, the urge to sing is woven into songbirds' DNA.

Like humans, baby birds learn to communicate from their parents. Adult zebra finches will even speak in the equivalent of "baby talk" when teaching chicks their songs. After hearing the same expressions repeated so many times and trying them out firsthand, the offspring are able to use the same songs as adults.

But nurture isn't the only factor driving this behavior. Even when they grow up without any parents teaching them how to vocalize, birds will start singing on their own. These innate songs are less refined than the ones that are taught, but when they're passed down through multiple generations and shaped over time, they start to sound similar to the learned songs sung by other members of their species.

This suggests that the drive to sing as well as the specific structures of the songs themselves have been ingrained in the animals' genetic code by evolution. You can watch the full story from TED-Ed below, then head over here for a sample of the diverse songs produced by birds.

[h/t TED-Ed]

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Animals
Watch the First-Ever Footage of a Baby Dumbo Octopus
NOAA, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
NOAA, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Dumbo octopuses are named for the elephant-ear-like fins they use to navigate the deep sea, but until recently, when and how they developed those floppy appendages were a mystery. Now, for the first time, researchers have caught a newborn Dumbo octopus on tape. As reported in the journal Current Biology, they discovered that the creatures are equipped with the fins from the moment they hatch.

Study co-author Tim Shank, a researcher at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, spotted the octopus in 2005. During a research expedition in the North Atlantic, one of the remotely operated vehicles he was working with collected several coral branches with something strange attached to them. It looked like a bunch of sandy-colored golf balls at first, but then he realized it was an egg sac.

He and his fellow researchers eventually classified the hatchling that emerged as a member of the genus Grimpoteuthis. In other words, it was a Dumbo octopus, though they couldn't determine the exact species. But you wouldn't need a biology degree to spot its resemblance to Disney's famous elephant, as you can see in the video below.

The octopus hatched with a set of functional fins that allowed it to swim around and hunt right away, and an MRI scan revealed fully-developed internal organs and a complex nervous system. As the researchers wrote in their study, Dumbo octopuses enter the world as "competent juveniles" ready to jump straight into adult life.

Grimpoteuthis spends its life in the deep ocean, which makes it difficult to study. Scientists hope the newly-reported findings will make it easier to identify Grimpoteuthis eggs and hatchlings for future research.

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