Top ten animal finds of 2008

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Washington, Dec 25 (ANI): National Geographic News has outlined its ten most read stories on animal finds of 2008.

The top ten animal finds of 2008 are:

10. Wildlife park official arrested in Gorilla killings:

In March, Congolese authorities arrested a senior park official in connection with the 2007 execution-style killings of several endangered mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park.

9. Colossal squid thawing; hints at even bigger beasts:

A 1,091-pound (495-kilogram) colossal squid, caught near Antarctica in 2007 and frozen for later study, began its big thaw in April in a salty bath at a New Zealand museum.

8. "Extinct" primate found in Indonesia:

A summer expedition in Indonesia turned up three pygmy tarsiers, tiny carnivorous primates that had not been seen alive since the 1920s, scientists announced in November.

7. Colossal squid has glowing "Cloaking Device," huge eyes:

A colossal squid defrosted in May at a New Zealand museum has soccer ball-size eyes-the world's biggest-rimmed with light-emitting organs that may help the species cloak itself from prey.

6. Largest squid ever caught is "Giant, gelatinous blob":

The August dissection of a colossal squid snagged off Antarctica in 2007 revealed that the half-ton female was carrying partially developed eggs and was sluggish and highly vulnerable to predators.

5. "Lost" deer species rediscovered in trap:

In October, conservationists released the first ever photograph of a live Sumatran muntjac, a dog-size deer that had been largely forgotten by science for some 60 years.

4. Heavy metal-eating "superworms" unearthed in UK:

Newly evolved "superworms" that feast on toxic waste could help cleanse polluted industrial land, according to an October report.

3. Lizards rapidly evolve after introduction to island:

A paper released in April suggested that Italian wall lizards introduced to a tiny island off the coast of Croatia are evolving in ways that would normally take millions of years to play out.

2. Vampire moth discovered-evolution at work:

A previously unknown population of vampire moths found in Siberia may have evolved from a purely fruit-eating species, researchers reported in October.

1. Alien-like squid with "elbows" filmed at drilling site:

At an extremely deep oil-drilling site, a remote control submersible's camera captured an eerie surprise: an alien-like, long-armed, and "elbowed" Magnapinna squid, scientists said in November. (ANI)

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