Top 10 natural history stories from 2008

07 January 2009

From the world's longest insect and Neanderthal diets, to a mysterious new insect and a dual sex moth, read some of our fascinating top natural history stories from 2008.

1. Biggest sea reptile discovered

The fossil of a 150-million-year-old sea reptile that grew to 15m in length was discovered in the Arctic last February. Hear from dinosaur expert Angela Milner about why it is such a spectacular find.

2. World's longest insect revealed

The world's longest insect was revealed at the Natural History Museum last October. Watch a video showing the stick insect from Borneo.

3. British dinosaur has crocodile-like skull

A year ago in January scientists revealed an unusual British dinosaur. It was shown to have a skull that functioned like that of a fish-eating crocodile.

4. Darwin's mockingbirds knock finches off perch

Galapagos mockingbirds, not finches, gave Darwin his evolution ideas. Find out more in this article and video.

5. Three new salamanders

Museum scientists led expeditions to unexplored forest in Costa Rica and discover 3 new species of salamander.

6. Mystery insect found in Museum garden

An insect not seen in the UK before was discovered in the Wildlife Garden in July and is still baffling insect experts. Watch a video too.

7. Neanderthal diet like early modern humans

New evidence published in September revealed Neanderthals ate seafood such as shellfish, mussels and even seal. Read the article and watch the video.

8. Earliest humans in Western Europe revealed

Evidence of the earliest humans, living more than 1 million years ago in western Europe, was revealed in March. Hear from human origins expert Chris Stringer.

9. Olympic swimsuit mimics shark skin

A swimsuit worn by Olympic athletes in Beijing was developed using the science of shark skin at the Natural History Museum.

10. Rare dual sex moth emerges at Museum

In May, a rare dual sex moth emerged in the pupae nursery of the Amazing Butterflies exhibition.

Darwin, Wildlife Photographer of the Year and Darwin Centre 

Other popular article themes were the stunning winning images from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year, the opening of the Museum's blockbuster Darwin exhibition, open now until April 2009, and the countdown to the opening of the Museum's state-of-the-art Darwin Centre building.