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With a head like a fighter-plane cockpit, a Pacific barreleye fish shows off its highly sensitive, barrel-like eyes--topped by green, orblike lenses

With a head like a fighter-plane cockpit, a Pacific barreleye fish shows off its highly sensitive, barrel-like eyes--topped by green, orblike lenses--in a picture released in February.

Photograph courtesy Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

National Geographic News

Published December 9, 2009

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.

MORE MOST-VIEWED OF 2009
Top Ten Discoveries of 2009: Nat Geo News's Most Viewed
Top Ten Photo Galleries of 2009: Nat Geo News's Most Viewed
Top Ten Space Finds of 2009: Nat Geo News's Most Viewed
Top Ten Archaeology Finds: Most Viewed of 2009

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