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Weird News

The Best of 2010's Animals in the News

Dec 28, 2010 – 4:00 PM
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Lee Speigel

Lee Speigel Contributor

2010 produced many weird, far-out, bizarre photos of people. But let's not forget all of the animals that made headlines over the past 12 months. Here are a few highlights.

Throughout the year, we saw many odd animal items, and one that stretched our imaginations was Stewie, Reno, Nevada's world's longest cat.

Longest cat
Andy Barron, Reno Gazette-Journal/AP
Robin Henderson stretches her cat, Stewie, in Reno, Nev. At 48.5 inches long, the 5-year-old Maine Coon is the world's longest cat.

But this Pussy Galore was hardly the only amazing feline we encountered. A British house cat became an international hit when its owner used food coloring to dye its white coat pink.

In China, there was a cow with a horn (rhino-cow!) right in the middle of its forehead, trying to horn-in on the popularity of the unicorn mythology.

It was an interesting year for monkeys and chimps in pictures.

Step aside, Ashlee Simpson, your lip sync debacle on "Saturday Night Live" a few years ago may have been the precursor of this female simian singing sensation during a show by a monkey drama troupe in Bangkok.

Lip sync monkey
Rungroj Yongrit, EPA / Corbis
A female monkey lip syncs during a show by the monkey drama troupe Prakit Sitpragaan in Bangkok.
There's nothing unusual about a person riding a horse, right? How about a monkey hitching a ride to the top of a tree on the back of a parrot in Colombia – talk about two best buddies.

Right in time for the year-end holidays, we met a dozen penguins, dressed as Santa Claus and his reindeer, at the Everland amusement park in South Korea.

Monkey on parrot
This lazy monkey hitches a ride to the top of a tree -- by sitting on the back of a parrot in Colombia.
Careful walking on the sidewalk. You don't want to get run over by Tillman, California's skateboarding dog – that's also an accomplished surfer and snowboarder.

And you just had to feel a bit sorry for this sad-looking lamb in China, beating the odds and struggling to survive with just two legs.

You know, psychic powers aren't limited to humans. Just ask anyone impressed by Paul, the psychic octopus, who predicted the outcomes of eight consecutive World Cup soccer matches this summer from his tank at the Sea Life aquarium in Germany.

In the animal kingdom, fascinating things often come in very teeny, tiny packages, like the pea-sized frog discovered in Malaysia – a real-life little prince charming.

Tiny frog
Indraneil Das, AP
This tiny frog, discovered in Malaysia, is barely larger than a pea.
Speaking of the smallest of the small, let's all let out a collective "Awwww!" Who wouldn't want to own Einstein, a pinto stallion from New Hampshire, that was only 14 inches tall at birth.

Indiana Jones would probably be doubly scared to death if he ever encountered a two-headed albino snake like the one – aptly named Lenny and Squiggy – on display at the Venice Beach Freakshow in California this year.

Sticking with the two-heads-are-better-than-one theme, we marveled at the double-headed calf born in Egypt.

Finally, one chilling story that came to us from Peru was about rabid vampire bats that attacked and bit more than 500 people, causing that country's health officials to send teams of bat hunters into the Amazon.

Check out our gallery above to see many more of our favorite 2010 denizens from the animal kingdom.
Filed under: Nation, World, Weird News, Entertainment
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