Strange beasts—including a giant rat, a lungless worm, and a vegetarian spider—dominated National Geographic News's most popular new-species coverage of 2009.
| 10. New "Rainbow Glow" Jellyfish Found|
Look on the bright side—this luminous new jellyfish species caught off Australia doesn't sting, a March study found.
| 9. Five New Pygmy Seahorse Species Found|
Five new species of the tiny pygmy seahorse—all less than in inch tall—have been found in a flurry of recent discoveries, published in February.
| 8. Spooky New Species: Sea Squirt, Blob Fish, More|
We got spooked by a bloblike fish from the deep, a carnivorous sea squirt, and more freaky finds in our Halloween wrap-up.
| 7. Largest Web-Spinning Spider Found|
In October we met the newest odd couple of the animal kingdom: the giant female and tiny male of the largest web-spinning spider known to science.
| 6. Giant Rat, Silky Cuscus Found|
A "handsome" three-foot rodent is among the 40 potentially new species found on Mount Bosavi in central Papua New Guinea, one of the least explored places on Earth, a September study revealed.
| 5. "Surreal" Vegetarian Spider Found—A First|
As agile as its panther namesake in The Jungle Book, a tropical jumping spider Bagheera kiplingi is the only known plant-eater among 40,000 known spider species, an October study found.
| 4. Weird New Ghostshark Found; Male Has Sex Organ on Head|
Flying for years under the scientific radar, the new ghostshark species is among the world's oldest and—and oddest—fish, scientists said in September.
| 3. Giant Lungless "Worm" Found Living on Land|
A new species of caecilian can survive on land with no nostrils, lungs, or legs, according to researchers who described the bizarre wormlike amphibian in November.
| 2. New "Dracula" Fish Discovered|
A tiny fish with fang-like protrusions has been revealed as a new species native to Myanmar (Burma), researchers announced in March.
| 1. "Extinct" Bird Seen, Eaten?|
A rare quail from the Philippines was photographed for the first time before being sold at a poultry market, experts said in February.
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