Academic journal Nature is known for publishing serious scientific research, and while it may occasionally feature studies about adorable animals, the publication typically doesn't acknowledge the critters' cuteness. Until now.

The journal recently released an uncharacteristically precious video highlighting its 10 cutest animal stories of 2014.

While the featured animals are undoubtedly adorable, in true Nature form, each of the stories also shares a breakthrough or revelation made in the past year.

Although not all of the top 10 animals are, in fact, animals, they're all cute in their own way.

Here's a brief look at the top animals of the year.

marmoset monkey in a person's hand10. Marmosets

These cute little monkeys can learn how to complete tasks — such as opening a container for a tasty treat — by watching how-to videos of other marmosets doing the action first.

9. Dogs

Man's best friends have an internal compass that enables them to align with Earth's magnetic field when they do their business. Why? Researchers aren't sure, but the discovery earned them an Ig Nobel Prize.

8. Dumbo octopus

Named for ear-like fins protruding from its head, the Dumbo octopus lives near the sea floor, and this year scientists captured video of the creature holding its legs in a spiral formation that's never before been seen.

7. Dancing frogs

Fourteen new species of dancing frogs — so named because of the unique kicks they use to attract mates — were discovered in the mountains of southern India this year. The male frogs "dance," which involves extending the legs in a breeding behavior known as foot-flagging.

anole lizard6. Anole lizards

Researchers discovered that these lizards are making their way across the globe by stowing away on cargo ships.

5. Tiny robots

They're not animals, but these coin-sized robots act as a flock and assemble themselves into shapes by communicating with each other.

4. Toupee monkeys

Five new species of these floppy-haired monkeys were discovered in the Amazon this year. Previously they were thought to be subspecies.

3. Jumping spiders

A close-up of a jumping spider's eyes took third place this year in the Nikon Small World competition.

2. Penguin bot

Second place went to a robot impersonating a baby penguin. The remote-controlled penguin bot proved to be less stressful for real penguins than a human presence. In the study, a penguin's heart rate was found to increase by an average of 35 beats per minute when approached by a human, but when the penguin bot approached, the birds' heart rate increased by around 24 beats per minute.

koala on tree1. Koalas

This year, scientists discovered that koalas hug trees to cool down. They looked at thermal images and found that the marsupials position themselves on the coolest part of a tree before settling down for a nap.

Related on MNN:

Photo credits:

Marmoset: /Shutterstock

Lizard: /Shutterstock

Koala: /Shutterstock