Top ten species

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.

  • Giant squid specimen in its tank in the Museum's Darwin Centre
    Architeuthis dux (giant squid) - 09/04/2010

    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.

  • Bombus distinguendus on a red clover flower
    Bombus distinguendus (great yellow bumblebee) - 01/01/2010

    Find out about the UK's great yellow bumble bee, Bombus distinguendus, how its numbers are declining and what can be done to help.

  • female adult and larvae of Calliphora vicina
    Calliphora vicina (urban bluebottle blowfly) - 17/04/2010

    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.

  • Drawing of Homo neanderthalensis
    Homo neanderthalensis (Neanderthals) - 07/05/2010

    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.

  • Stoplight loosejaw fish
    Malacosteus niger (stoplight loosejaw) - 03/06/2010

    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
    Melolontha melolontha (cockchafer or May bug) - 20/05/2010

    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.

  • Osedax mucofloris, the bone-eating snot-flower worm
    Osedax mucofloris (bone-eating snot-flower worm) - 31/05/2010

    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.

  • A pair of South China tigers
    Panthera tigris amoyensis (South China tiger) - 14/02/2010

    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.

  • Oil painting of the dodo, Raphus cucullatus
    Raphus cucullatus (dodo) - 23/01/2010

    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.

  • Schistosoma mansoni male/female pair
    Schistosoma mansoni (trematode flatworm) - 21/01/2010

    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.