I’ll admit it; I’m a science nerd. Petri dishes, swabs, slides and slide covers, microscopes, pipettes and centrifuges all hold a strange fascination for me. As such, I often cruise the science news-related websites and blogs online. This practice is usually without incident – at least until the other day when my head nearly exploded.
It is a little-known scientific fact that gazing upon extreme cuteness can cause excessive swelling and pressure in the cranial region, resulting in a sudden eruption of brain matter (aka head explosion). African black-footed cats are extremely cute. Observe one of these cuties and you risk having brain fluid leak from your ears.
Thanks to scientists at the Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans, there are now two more of these tiny, endangered darlings in the world. This is big news to scientists, conservationists and cat-lovers, as less than 50 of these cats are known to exist on the entire planet- 19 of which are in U.S. zoos.
The African black-footed cat is among the smallest species of felines, and also of the most threatened. Weighing a mere three to four pounds when fully grown, these cats have a body length of only one to two feet, not including the tail. South African farmers have poisoned many as humans expand into the cats’ native habitat. Producing more of these felines via in vitro fertilization may be the only way to prevent their eventual extinction.
If you’d like to see pictures of these tiny kittens (minus all the science stuff), visit Zooborns.