New Guinness world record holders include long-tongued dog, giant bunny, balloon-crazy terrier
The release of a new list of Guinness world records always means crazy animal feats and statistics. We typically await a fresh Guinness book with a mixture of enthusiasm and dread, and this year's list didn't disappoint.
Above, meet Puggy, a Pekingese from Texas who scored a world record for Longest Tongue on a Dog. (We have a bit of trouble with the wording of this record, which is Guinness', not ours. If, say, Gene Simmons were to lick a dog, could he theoretically win the record, ousting an honest long-tongued dog like Puggy? We humbly suggest to the Guinness folks that they reword this record in future book editions, something along the lines of "Dog With the Longest Tongue." But then, we are nit-picky.)
Puggy is a rescue dog -- making him tops in our book -- who was adopted by Becky Stanford eight years ago. "From being a stray dog, being dumped, to being a Guinness World Record holder is just phenomenal," Stanford told CNN. "I just can't believe it."
If you're wondering -- and how could you not be? -- Puggy's tongue measures 4.5 inches. As viewers of the above video will be able to tell, it doesn't fit too well in his mouth and can make eating a bit difficult, but it doesn't seem to slow him down!
See more animal world record-holders -- from the smallest cow and the smallest dog to the tallest dog and the longest rabbit -- after the jump!
Above, Giant George, a Great Dane from Arizona, lies down while Boo Boo, a long-haired Chihuahua from Kentucky, is held nearby. The two, who hold records for Tallest Living Dog and Smallest Living Dog, respectively, met for a photo shoot in New York City on Wednesday.
Giant George measures 43 inches (that's 3 feet, 7 inches) from front paw to the top of his shoulder. He's the tallest dog, not the longest or heaviest, but his other stats are also impressive: He measures 87 inches (7 feet, 3 inches) from nose tip to tail tip and weighs 245 pounds!
Boo Boo is just four inches tall and weighs only 24 ounces. She so tiny that she eats from a teaspoon instead of a dog bowl, but she wasn't fazed by her meeting with Giant George.
"Boo isn't generally afraid of other dogs, even this big one," her owner, Lana Elswick, told AOL News. "It's cats, really, that put her on edge."
We wonder how long Boo Boo can hold onto her title -- after all, a Maltese puppy named Scooter and a Jack Russell terrier-Chihuahua mix puppy named Tom Thumb were both considered front-runners for the record just last year. Because Scooter and Tom Thumb were not full grown at the time, they weren't yet able to petition Guinness to be named Smallest Dog.
Giant George, like Boo Boo, had tough competition -- mostly from other Great Danes -- for the Tallest Dog title. He had one thing the other Danes didn't, though: His own public relations team. Thanks to media-savvy supporters, including owner Dave Nasser, George has his own website, Facebook fan page (with more than 55,000 fans as of Friday afternoon) and Twitter account. (None of that made him any taller, but it did land him an appearance on "Oprah.")
Giant George was named Tallest Dog earlier this year, taking the title from a Great Dane named Titan. Before Titan, the record was held by another Dane, Gibson, who died last year after a hard-fought battle with osteosarcoma.
"This is a hotly contested record and, after some controversy and conflicting media reports, we decided to send our own official adjudicator to put the final stamp on this record holder," Craig Glenday, editor in chief of Guinness World Records, said in February. "We can indeed say now that George is the top dog."
Darius, the World's Longest Rabbit, comes by the distinction honestly: His mother and two of his grandparents have previously held the title.
Darius and his family are continental giant rabbits -- but especially large ones, even for a breed that has "giant" right in its name. He hails from Worcester, England, measures an astonishing 51 inches (4 feet, 3 inches) from nose to tail and weighs 50 pounds. And he may not even be done growing.
Owner Annette Edwards, who once owned a pet store, apparently feeds on all the rabbit-related attention. Perhaps even stranger than her penchant for breeding 4-foot-long bunnies is the fact that she famously spent about $16,000 on plastic surgery to look like cartoon character Jessica Rabbit (not an actual rabbit, we know). After all that, she feigned shock that her rabbit's fame had eclipsed her own in a July interview with NBC's "Today Show." "[Darius has] actually taken over me," she said. "I'm a professional model, and he's having more fame than me. It's not fair."
But it gets better: According to The Daily Mail, Edwards has offered a $100,000-plus salary for a rabbit wrangler to carry her giant bunnies around to events, since her Jessica Rabbit accouterments make it difficult to lift them herself.
You can't make this stuff up, folks.
And now we have ... The World's Smallest Cow.
Swallow (at right, of course), a sheep-sized Dexter cow, may look like a calf, but she's actually the 11-year-old mother of nine, with another calf on the way. Owner Caroline Ryder of Yorkshire, England, describes her tiny cow as "really sweet" and the "nanny of the herd."
At 33.5 inches "from rear foot to hind" (again, Guinness' strange wording, not ours), Swallow is shorter than her youngest offspring and, according to Associated Press, is a fan of contemporary music.
Colo (pronounced "Kahlo" and short for "Columbus, Ohio"), a western lowland gorilla, is the world record holder for oldest gorilla in captivity. She was born at the Columbus Zoo on Dec. 22, 1956, and celebrated her 53rd birthday with a party and dessert last year.
Colo was the first gorilla born in captivity.
Western lowland gorillas are critically endangered in the wild.
Finally, we present Anastasia, a Jack Russell terrier who holds a world record for Fastest Time to Pop 100 Balloons By a Dog -- she did so in 44.49 seconds.
At first blush, this wouldn't seem like a terribly competitive category, but there's actually another Jack Russell named Simon who is hot on Anastasia's heels. (Apparently balloon-popping is a Jack Russell thing. Why doesn't that surprise us?)
Above, Anastasia practices for her world record attempt (her best time is actually faster than this!).
Anastasia's owner, professional animal trainer Doree Sitterly, discovered the feisty terrier's penchant for balloon-popping quite by accident during a New Year's Eve party in 2005. Since then, Anastasia has appeared on "The Tonight Show," "Live with Regis and Kelly" and "Pet Star" and filmed commercials for Mighty Dog and Bud Light, among others.
"When Anastasia sees balloons in public, she starts with a small whine and builds to a squeal," Sitterly told CNN. "She'll then begin screaming like a banshee and is difficult to control. She is focused on popping balloons only and nothing else."
Suddenly, our own rambunctious terriers seem so tame.
-- Lindsay Barnett
Photos and video credits, from top: Puggy video: Guinness World Records. Giant George and Boo Boo photo: Eduardo Munoz / Reuters. Boo Boo photo: Eduardo Munoz / Reuters. Giant George photo: Greg Bryan / Associated Press. Darius video: ITN News. Swallow photo: Associated Press. Colo video: Associated Press. Anastasia video: packofjacks4 via YouTube.