Bizarre prehistoric creatures—sea monsters, gargantuan rodents, a redheaded Neanderthal—are among the stars of the most read stories on dinosaurs and fossils covered by National Geographic News in 2008.
| 10. "Amazing" Dinosaur Trove Discovered in Utah|
Two meat-eating dinosaurs, a probable Stegosaurus, and four sauropods quickly emerged at a dig that found a "logjam" of fossils, scientists announced in June.
| 9. Odd Fish Find Contradicts Intelligent-Design Argument|
Flatfishes' lopsided eye arrangement evolved gradually, a July fossil study suggested—perhaps solving "a major, major puzzle to evolutionary biologists."
| 8. PHOTO IN THE NEWS: DNA-Based Neanderthal Face Unveiled|
Redheaded like her Flintstones namesake, Wilma—the first recreation of a Neanderthal based on DNA evidence—made her debut in September.
| 7. "Bizarre" New Dinosaur: Giant Raptor Found in Argentina|
An "unexpected," 20-foot-long new dinosaur was discovered in South America, rewriting the evolutionary history of raptors, a December study said.
| 6. PHOTO IN THE NEWS: New "Sea Monster" Species Identified|
The new genus of dinosaur-era, carnivorous reptile, found deep in a Canadian mine, is also one of the most complete fossils of its kind ever unearthed.
| 5. Giant "Sea Monster" Fossil Discovered in Arctic|
Described as "the T. rex of the ocean," the dinosaur-era predator is one of the largest marine reptiles ever found, scientists announced in February. ALSO SEE: pictures of the sea monster.
| 4. PHOTOS: Bizarre New Dinosaurs Found in Sahara|
Two new species of two-legged carnivores were unveiled in February: one that hunted like a shark and another that may have eaten like a hyena, researchers said. ALSO SEE: full story of the Sahara dinosaurs.
| 3. Bull-Size Rodent Discovered—Biggest Yet|
The prehistoric "rat" had huge teeth, a January study said. The animal likely competed with saber-toothed cats and giant, flightless, meat-eating birds. ALSO SEE: pictures of the giant rodent.
| 2. Giant "Frog From Hell" Fossil Found in Madagascar|
Scientists working in Madagascar found in February what may be the largest frog that ever lived—and it had an attitude to match.
| 1. Ancient Praying Mantis Found in Amber|
An 87-million-year-old insect from Japan could be a "missing link" between mantises from dinosaur times and the modern-day bugs, researchers said in April.
ALSO SEE: Most popular National Geographic News stories of 2008 >>