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Giraffes are 4 Different Species & Other Animal Surprises from 2016

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You went through your whole life thinking giraffes are one animal. Just one type of animal.

Because this is a year of surprises (good and bad), scientists just released new info that giraffes actually comprise 4 different species.

Courtesy of Julian Fennessy, Julie Maher/Wildlife Conservation Society

Well, when you put them all next to each other like that…sure.

The researchers from a wildlife conservancy in Namibia discovered a large number of genetic differences, some which were “as large or larger than the differences between brown bears and polar bears.” So now we have four different kinds of giraffes and that’s more work for all the zoos in the world. It’s also more work for giraffe-obsessed 6-yr olds, who exist, I think. I was always a panda-girl, myself.

Which is why I was so delighted by other recent news that pandas are no longer endangered. They’re not exactly thriving, but the fact that they aren’t critically endangered is surprise enough, considering how bad they are at keeping their species alive. They eat bamboo but are actually omnivores, so they choose to eat very un-nutritious plants that we make plates and yoga mats out of.

Here’s a cute panda video to celebrate their new status:

Unfortunately, dinosaurs are still extinct.

But now we know what the largest land animal was: the Titanosaur.

The femur (thigh bone) of this giant space-dragon is taller than a human. Don’t worry though, because they found 220 more bones in Argentina, from seven different members of this new dino-family. So they are making a documentary, and I hope they name this one Jorge:

Courtesy of the BBC

He looks like a Jorge. He also looks like he would use me to pick leaves out of his teeth. Also in surprising animal news, David Attenborough is narrating the documentary. It’s not surprising that he’s doing it obviously, but that he’s still alive. It must be the love of animals keeping him around.

And finally, I give you…the world’s first identical puppy twins.

Courtesy of the BBC

Their names are Romulus and Cullen (probably not because of the Twilight books–and I’m sad that I even said that now). Somehow, I didn’t know dogs weren’t having identical twins on the reg, though you probably didn’t either. So that’s two great new things in your life. They’ll probably make a calendar of them soon, don’t worry.

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Candace Cui - Actual Unicorn

Candace Cui - Actual Unicorn

At age 2, I was getting run over by a bike in an alley in China. At age 8, I was avoiding man-o-wars on Tybee Island. At age 14, I was overdrinking sweet tea while running through the woods barefoot. At age 20, I was learning Art History and how to drop it low. At age 25, I was making fun of drum circles at Dolores. At every age, I am charming the fuck out of you. Just wait, it'll happen.