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The three African kittens were named after powerful dragons

Three African kittens are latest Game of Thrones fans

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Rodrigo Cokting
Staff writer

Saturday, June 21, 2014, 8:45 PM - Three small black-footed kittens are the latest to jump on the Game of Thrones bandwagon.

The small African cats made their debut at the Philadelphia Zoo recently and have caught a lot of attention in the media for their names. Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion were named after Daenerys' three dragons from the hit TV show Game of Thrones.

Courtesy: Philadelphia Zoo

Courtesy: Philadelphia Zoo

Courtesy: Philadelphia Zoo

Courtesy: Philadelphia Zoo

An adult male Black-Footed Cat usually weighs about four pounds making the cats smaller and lighter than their house equivalent. While part of that is due to the more limited access to food these animals see in the wild, it's also due to the species being physiologically different than the classic house cat. This species is sometimes referred to as the "anthill tiger" and is the smallest cats in Africa. They usually eat insects and spiders.

The parents Aza and Ascari have been at the Philadelphia Zoo since they moved from Kansas City Zoo. Their keepers had been trying to get them to mate for two and a half years before Aza, the mother, began to gain weight. The three kittens, two male and one female, were born in early April and only show to the public about three weeks ago.

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But what's in a name?
We all take time to name the animals that are close to our heart but does it have an effect on them? While many pet owners would argue that it does, for some animals that might not be the case.

A recent study determined that house cats, whether perfectly named or not, often don't respond to their owners calling for them. The research from the University of Tokyo determined that cats have evolved to ignore their owners. Scientists left cats alone before playing recordings of three strangers, and their owners. While the cats displayed a greater response to their owner's call than strangers, they declined to move.

Experts think this might be because cats, unlike dogs, were never fully domesticated by humankind. Instead cats seemingly domesticated themselves, hunting the rodents that ate the grains humans were farming. It was more of a co-operative relationship than their canine counterparts.

THE WEEKEND FEATURE: On Sunday, digital writer Daniel Martins examines the 13 of the most notorious Canadian floods and the impact of each. Check back to read and share.

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