Rare Tree Kangaroo in New Guinea Was Just Seen For the First Time in 90 Years

A different species of tree kangaroo
A different species of tree kangaroo
iStock.com/CraigRJD

In the lowlands and rainforests of New Guinea, Indonesia, and parts of Northern Australia lives a genus of strange creatures called tree kangaroos. If you can imagine what the offspring of an ordinary kangaroo and lemur would look like, then you’ll have some idea of a tree kangaroo’s physique.

As Smithsonian reports, a single Wondiwoi tree kangaroo—a species native to the Wondiwoi Mountains in West Papua, New Guinea—was recently spotted for the first time in 90 years. The last time the species was seen was in 1928, when biologist Ernst Mayr thought he had stumbled upon a monkey-bear hybrid.

This time, amateur botanist Michael Smith had a chance encounter with the creature while exploring the Wondiwoi Mountains. His photos of the animal perched on a tree branch were recently published in National Geographic and other outlets.

Tree kangaroos have impressive proportions. As the largest tree-living marsupial in New Guinea, they have a built-in tool to help them get to an elevated plane. “They have great big claws to help them shin up trees, and also for defense, although they are not terribly agile,” Smith told the UK-based Alton Post Gazette. “We also smel[led] the scent marks—quite foxy—and saw what the hunter identified as scat: kangaroo poo.”

Smith plans to submit samples of the animal’s droppings for further research so that they can be compared with the animal that Mayr saw back in 1928. Because poaching and deforestation threaten the species, it’s feared that the animal could be extinct within a few years.

[h/t Smithsonian]

These Rugged Steel-Toe Boots Look and Feel Like Summer Sneakers

Indestructible Shoes
Indestructible Shoes

Thanks to new, high-tech materials, our favorite shoes are lighter and more comfortable than ever. Unfortunately, one thing most sneakers are not is durable. They can’t protect your feet from the rain, let alone heavy objects. Luckily, as their name implies, Indestructible Shoes has come up with a line of steel-toe boots that look and feel like regular sneakers.

Made to be incredibly strong but still lightweight, every pair of Indestructible Shoes has steel toes, skid-proof grips, and shock-absorption technology. But they don't look clunky or bulky, which makes them suitable whether you're going to work, the gym, or a family gathering.

The Hummer is Indestructible Shoes’s most well-rounded model. It features European steel toes to protect your feet, while the durable "flymesh" material wicks moisture to keep your feet feeling fresh. The insole features 3D arch support and extra padding in the heel cup. And the outsole features additional padding that distributes weight and helps your body withstand strain.

Indestructible Shoes Hummer.
The Hummer from Indestructible Shoes.
Indestructible Shoes

There’s also the Xciter, Indestructible Shoes’s latest design. The company prioritized comfort for this model, with the same steel toes as the Hummer, but with additional extra-large, no-slip outsoles capable of gripping even smooth, slippery surfaces—like, say, a boat deck. The upper is made of breathable moisture-wicking flymesh to help keep your feet dry in the rain or if you're wearing them on the water.

If you want a more breathable shoe for the peak summer months, there's the Ryder. This shoe is designed to be a stylish solution to the problem of sweaty feet, thanks to a breathable mesh that maximizes airflow and minimizes sweat and odor. Meanwhile, extra padding in the midsole will keep your feet protected.

You can get 44 percent off all styles if you order today.

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The Reason Your Dog Follows You Everywhere

Crew, Unsplash
Crew, Unsplash

Depending on your mood, a dog that follows you everywhere can be annoying or adorable. The behavior is also confusing if you're not an expert on pet behavior. So what is it about the canine companions in our lives that makes them stick by our sides at all times?

Most experts agree on a few different reasons why some dogs are clingy around their owners. One is their pack mentality. Dogs may have been domesticated thousands of years ago, but they still consider themselves to be part of a group like their wild ancestors. When there are no other dogs around, their human family becomes their pack. According to Reader's Digest, this genetic instinct is also what motivates dogs to watch you closely and seek out your physical touch.

The second reason for the behavior has to do with the bond between you and your pet. As veterinarian Dr. Rachel Barrack told the American Kennel Club, puppies as old as 6 months can imprint on their human owners like they would their own mothers. Even older dogs will bond with the humans in their lives who show them care and affection. In these cases, a dog will shadow its owner because it sees them as an object of trust and security.

The last possible explanation for why your dog follows you has more to do with your treatment of them than their natural instincts. A popular training tactic is positive reinforcement—i.e. rewarding a dog with treats, pets, and praise when they perform positive behaviors. The point is to help your dog associate good behaviors with rewards, but after a while, they may start to associate your presence with rewards as well. That means if your dog is following you, they may be looking for treats or attention.

A clingy dog may be annoying, but it usually isn't a sign of a larger problem. If anything, it means your dog sees you in a positive light. So enjoy the extra companionship, and don't be afraid to close the door behind when you need some alone time.