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New Species of Koch Brother Discovered -- Possesses Beating Human Heart

Kochbrotherus anomalusScientists working on the frontiers of descriptive biology have reportedly discovered an entirely new subspecies of Homo sapiens sapiens: a Koch Brother possessed of a living, beating human heart, a functional brain, and even what appears, on early examination, to be a moral compass.

"We've never seen a Koch Brother like this before," said Harvard mammalogist Jim Peterson. "It's simply something that none of us expected to encounter. Who knows what a subspecies like this could give to the world? We have to be careful to conserve these creatures. A Koch Brother with a functioning heart and mind isn't just worth keeping for its intrinsic value; it could turn out to be the source of a scientific breakthrough. It might provide a key medicine in the future, such as a cure for gout, or have something to teach us about how Republicans first learned to walk erect." 

The Koch Brother with brain and heart has been named by its discoverer, as is the taxonomic tradition (Kochbrotherus anomalus). Like so many newly discovered flora and fauna of the past, it is being kept at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, where it can be compared via DNA analysis to other related specimens in the collection. It floats in formaldehyde wearing its native gray pinstriped suit.

Pikas Given 40,000 Tiny Sneakers to Outrun Climate Change

Pika in sneakersStymied in its bid to get pikas listed under the Endangered Species Act, the Center for Biological Diversity has ordered 10,000 quartets of cross-trainers in miniature size -- with special accommodations, of course, for rear claws -- to give away free to American pikas so that these small, laughably cute mammals can outrun the climate change that's chasing them out of their mountain homes.

"These sneakers will be available completely free of charge, and the pikas can actually get them in whatever color they feel will suit their individual fur shade, ranging from light brown to medium-light brown to grayish brown," said Center schwag entrepreneur Peter Galvin. "This is a social media campaign, too, so we're encouraging the pikas to post selfies in these fantastic shoes, to encourage other pikas to participate. Oh -- we also have beige."

Pikas, of which 36 subspecies live across the U.S. West, haven't traditionally been migrators; the tiny, vulnerable animals, sometimes described as "generally egg-shaped," are not adapted for bold adventure across great distances.

"In the past these guys couldn't budge more than about a mile from home," said Galvin. "Not even to save their little lives. Well, our ClimaSneaksTM will change all that -- and they're made out of cruelty-free hemp."

Learn more about some less stylish ways in which the Center is saving pikas.

Retiring Rep. Doc Hastings Declares Well-padded Committee Chair "Critical Habitat"

Doc Hastings on a throneIn a surprising move, right-wing Congressman Doc Hastings (R.-Wash.) -- who has long helped run the nation's endangered species into the ground from his perch as chair of the influential House Committee on Natural Resources -- has announced he will take that chair with him when he retires from Congress this year.

"Recently I celebrated my 73rd birthday," said the sworn Republican foe of numerous wild creatures. "And while I have the ability and seniority to serve Central Washington, my preference is to keep serving private industry. There's no place better to do that from than my own little patch of powerturf: this chair."

Hastings' lawyers reportedly plan to argue that the chair is "critical habitat" for the anti-government lawmaker under the Endangered Species Act. Despite the fact that Hastings has attacked the Act relentlessly and counterfactually over the course of his seemingly interminable career, his team is now arguing he has a right to be protected by it as "endangered."

"Rep. Hastings cannot be expected to survive without this powerful committee chair, which has, after two decades, become his primary home," said a spokesperson.

Utah to Reintroduce Endangered "Heckbenders"

HellbenderThe state of Utah has launched an ambitious new program to reintroduce large, somewhat homely salamanders, which they call western "heckbenders," to various springs and seeps in this majority Mormon state, where the animals will be treated with polite deference and encouraged to avoid such unhealthy habits as going extinct.

"These h*ckbenders are good, solid animals," said a state wildlife official. "They're ugly, sure, but hey, we Utahns aren't known for our fashion sense. Here in the Beehive State, what we respect is clean living. Other states' dirty water has almost drove these guys into oblivion. Well, we'll keep these critters' water pure and their minds even purer."

Read more about the Utahn salamanders' close relatives and watch a hellbender video.

Paparazzi Catch Shirtless Biden Rummaging, Howling in First Lady's Organic Garden

Shirtless Joe BidenVice President Joe Biden, an early adopter of the Center's new "Earth-friendly diet," was caught on film Tuesday running loose in First Lady Michelle Obama's famed organic garden, his torso bare save for a snowy coat of man-fur. The former Scrantonite and inductee of the Delaware Volunteer Firemen Association's Hall of Fame was rummaging among the garden's early sweet corn and kale. As electronic flashbulbs clicked, he threw back his head and let loose a lupine howl.

"Listen, bacon built this body, but broccoli is what's gonna keep it goin', baby," said Biden, when pressed by a reporter to explain his conduct. "I'm a cage-free compadre now. People are a little afraid of my fierceness, my virility. But hey, that comes with being a green machine."

Biden then invited reporters to feel his biceps and view his sharp canine teeth before loping off to scratch in the earth behind a clump of arugula.

Kierán Suckling
Executive Director

Original image credits: Joe Biden courtesy Wikimedia Commons/United States Government; White House Kitchen Garden courtesy Flickr/Adam Fagen; shirtless Chuck Norris courtesy Comic Vine; Koch brother courtesy Restoring Truthiness; pika courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Alan D. Wilson; Vibram FiveFingers courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Eyesighter; Doc Hastings courtesy Wikimedia Commons/U.S. Congress; emperor's throne courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Tatyana; hellbender by Ken Roblee, New York Department of Environmental Conservation; Joe Biden courtesy Wikimedia Commons/World Economic Forum; White House Kitchen Garden courtesy Flickr/Lukas Eklund; shirtless Chuck Norris courtesy

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