Ten weirdest animals of 2008

January 1st, 2009 - 12:56 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Jan 1 (ANI): New Scientist has outlined a list of the 10 oddest species from the year 2008.

So, the weirdest animals of 2008 were:

Bone-breaking horror frog: In May 2008, biologists described a hairy frog that actively breaks its own bones to produce claws that puncture their way out of the frogs toe pads, probably when it is threatened.

Solar-powered sea slug: Elysia chlorotica is a lurid-green sea slug with a gelatinous leaf-shaped body that lives along the Atlantic seaboard of the US. When it feeds on algae it absorbs chlorophyll and steals some plant genes that let it live for up to a year on sunlight alone.

Worlds smallest snake: Blair Hedges, of Pennsylvania State University, discovered the worlds smallest snake, Leptotyphlops carlae.

Sex-pest guppies: Having invaded the territory of another fish species, guppies have taken to sexually harassing and possibly even maiming resident females. Researchers believe the guppies are using sex as a way of suppressing the native fish population.

Zombie caterpillars: 2008 saw the discovery of two odd animals: a parasitoid wasp that specialises in manipulative behaviour and a zombie caterpillar. Having partially developed inside them, the wasp larvae chemically manipulate the caterpillars into acting as zombie bodyguards, with some impressive moves to boot.

Worlds only lungless frog: The Barbourula kalimantanensis, a little frog with big eyes, has no lungs and gets all the oxygen it needs through its skin.

Self-sufficient goldmine bug: Nicknamed the bold traveler, Candidatus Desulforudis audaxviator lives 2.8 kilometres down inside a goldmine, in 60 degrees Celsius water, completely isolated from the rest of the world, with neither light nor oxygen.

Electric fish that loves a shock: Male elephant nose fish are known to lure females with the help of an electric field. This year, experiments showed that females fancy the electric aura of males of their own kind over the spark of closely related species.

One-tonne guinea pig: Josephoartigasia monesi was a one-tonne rodent, who roamed South America 2 million years ago.

Newly discovered monkey already endangered: A species of monkey living in north-western Amazonia was named earlier in 2008 - and scientists immediately called for it to be placed on the endangered species list. (ANI)

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