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Mother Nature has a strange sense of humor. Her creations include zombie worms and penis fish, not to mention turtles with a strange way of getting rid of urine. Read on for some of the weirdest animal discoveries ever.Note: A version of this countdown was first published on Dec. 20, 2012 and was updated and expanded on Dec. 20, 2013.
A 'tulip' with a digestive systemSlide 2 of 25
A 'tulip' with a digestive system
An ancient fossil found in Canada looks like a field of tulips frozen in stone. In fact, these plantlike creatures are animals unlike any seen before.
Siphusauctum gregarium, a 500-million-year-old filter feeder, was the length of a dinner knife with a bulbous "head" containing a feeding system and a bizarre gut. Instead of filtering water past its feeders externally, S. gregarium appears to have pumped water through its tuliplike head, capturing any food particles that passed through, study researcher Lorna O'Brien of the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada told LiveScience. Scientists aren't sure where this unusual creature fits into the evolutionary tree.Slide 3 of 25
Bizarre creature in cocoonSlide 4 of 25
Bizarre creature in cocoon
Bad luck for a trapped ancient animal, good luck for modern scientists: Some 200 million years ago, a leech secreted a slimy cocoon under water or on a wet leaf, and a tiny animal the width of just a few human hairs attached itself to the new cocoon.
This bizarre little creature clung on with its springlike tail, becoming rapidly trapped and engulfed by the cocoon. The unusual circumstances resulted in something almost unheard of: the complete preservation of a soft-bodied animal with no hard bones to fossilize.
Scientists say the microscopic creature looks like it might come from the genus Vorticella. Its secret talent is coiling and uncoiling its springy stalk at a speed of 3.1 inches (8 centimeters) per second, the equivalent of a human getting across three football fields in that amount of time.Slide 5 of 25
Cannibal lemurs roam the nightSlide 6 of 25
Cannibal lemurs roam the night
You don't have to be 40-feet long to be scary. This year, researchers studying the adorable gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) in Madagascar came across a grisly scene: a male of the species feasting on the flesh of a dead female.
Although other primates (including humans) have been known to practice cannibalism, scientists had never before seen a gray mouse lemur so much as eat another mammal, according to ScienceNow, which reported the creepy meal. Scientists documented the case in the American Journal of Primatology.Slide 7 of 25
750-leg millipedeSlide 8 of 25