Animal Mugshot Photos Of The Year 2012

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There were so many captivating animal photos taken in 2012 that it’s hard to choose the best. In the gallery below, find some of the top animal pictures from our weekly animal photos collection.

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Video: Houston Zoo Cheetahs Race At Texas Horse Park

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Two Houston Zoo cheetahs recently had a chance to stretch their legs on a run, and their stunning speed was caught on camera. “They need about 600 feet,” Beth Schaefer, the zoo’s curator of primates and carnivores told The Houston Chronicle. “We don’t have that straightaway anywhere on zoo grounds.” The five-year-old brothers, Kito and Kiburi, were taken to the fenced turf horse racing track at Sam Houston Park and even taken off their leash during the last two visits.

http://tinyurl.com/anntnnx

Art Wolfe’s Camouflage Animal Photos Capture Nature’s ‘Vanishing Act’

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While chameleons are well-known kings of camouflage, animals of all shapes and sizes are experts at disguising themselves from predators. In his “Vanishing Act” project, photographer Art Wolfe captures animals blending seamlessly into their surroundings.

http://tinyurl.com/bm2ccsc

Video: Bizarre Animal Traits: 9 Creatures With Incredibly Strange Characteristics

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The animal kingdom is filled with many strange characteristics and behaviors. Some peculiar attributes, like the hippopotamus’ ‘blood sweat,’ can be explained by adaption, while the causes of other bizarre animal traits remain more of a mystery.

http://tinyurl.com/bo93lyu

10 Remarkable Arctic Birds

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The warmest month in the Arctic Circle still means temperatures below 50 degrees. But that doesn’t deter about 200 species of Arctic birds from making the northernmost part of the Earth their home for at least part of the year.

http://tinyurl.com/cwvzqzq

Video: Best Animal Videos Of 2012: The Cutest, Funniest And Most Popular Clips Of The Year

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As 2012 comes to an end, it’s a good time to reflect and remember the most important stories of the year. So let’s be honest: wacky, cute and fascinating animal videos stole the show.

http://tinyurl.com/cyzjm4n

Gecko Tails Fall Off, Grow Back Along ‘Score Lines,’ Study Suggests

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Like a pair of Velcro stripper pants, gecko tails come off easy. The lizards have pre-formed score lines in their tail that allow them to quickly rip off their tails when a predator has grabbed it, according to a new study. The gecko tails, which were described Wednesday (Dec. 19) in the journal PLoS One, essentially stick to the body of the animals with adhesive forces.

http://tinyurl.com/c7zc8km

Frog Has Retractable Claws Like Wolverine

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This is one frog you don’t want to meddle with; Just check out the pinchers on this thing! The Japanese Otton frog, Babina subaspera, is one of the only species of frog in the world that possesses retractable claws like a cat. Each of its spines is contained within a sheath and can be pushed out the front of the digit, but not without puncturing the skin. In other words, the frog has to inflict self-harm to use the spines. In this way, the frog might be more aptly compared to the comic book superhero Wolverine than to a cat.

http://tinyurl.com/9zgq95q

Video: Hero Dogs: 10 Canines Who Went Above And Beyond In 2012

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For indisputable evidence of just how heroic dogs can be, take a look at the team of Golden Retrievers who recently arrived in Newtown to help comfort the victims of Friday’s shooting. All through 2012, we’ve seen countless such examples of heroic pets.

http://tinyurl.com/bmhq37d

Zoo Babies 2012: Adorable Baby Animal Pictures From Around The World

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From bonobos to zebras, zoo babies as a set are pretty adorable. These incredibly cute photos highlight young and newborn animals from zoos around the world.

http://tinyurl.com/bfn5s5c

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