In celebration of the International Year of Biodiversity the Museum's scientists published a fact file about a different species every day of 2010. These are the ten most popular species of the year.
Thought to reach lengths of up to 15m, the giant squid is currently the largest known cephalopod. Specimens have been found in all of the world's oceans and the Museum has one in its collections which can be seen as part of the free Spirit Collections Tour. Find out more about this giant of the deep sea, as featured on the Museum of Life.
Find out about the UK's great yellow bumble bee, Bombus distinguendus, how its numbers are declining and what can be done to help.
Calliphora vicina is a common bluebottle fly species that has followed and benefited from humans. While many people consider it a pest, it plays a vital role in the carbon cycle and has gained recognition for its role in assisting forensic investigations. Find out more about this species.
Homo neanderthalensis was a highly carnivorous early human species largely similar to Homo sapiens (humans). It is believed that Homo neanderthalensis and humans share a common ancestor. Fossils of the species are mainly known from the southerly regions of western Eurasia. Find out more about this species.
Find out about one of the most bizarre fishes ever discovered, the stoplight loosejaw. Quite monstrous in appearance, it has some unusual abilities.
Melolontha melolontha is the largest species of chafer beetle in the UK. It is seen flying between the months of May and July and often enters homes through open windows or chimneys, attracted by the artificial light. Find out more about this species.
The interestingly named bone-eating snot-flower worm, Osedax mucofloris, was discovered and described in 2005 after it was found living on whale bones on the sea floor. Find out more about this surprising discovery, and the big questions that it raised.
As the Year of the Tiger begins, conservationists are taking the opportunity to highlight the plight of these magnificent animals. Most critically endangered is the South China subspecies, with less than 30 tigers thought to exist in the wild. Learn more about this once abundant animal, including what is being done to try to save it.
The dodo is one of the most famous extinct species in the world, telling a cautionary tale about the consequences human actions can have. Discover what what we know about how this flightless bird lived, and what caused it to go extinct.
This trematode flatworm is one of the major causes of schistosomiasis, a widespread disease that damages internal organs and affects millions of people worldwide. Find out more about Schistosoma mansoni, its lifecycle and how it can cause schistosomiasis.