2016 year in review: When animals crawl into the limelight

Chen Jingwen, Straits Times AsiaOne 28 Dec 16;

The surprise discovery of a rare and mysterious trilobite beetle in Singapore in November became big news in November when a Facebook video of it garnered millions of views.

Yet another testimony to the rich biodiversity hidden within the crevices of our modern concrete jungle, the "ancient-looking insect has kept scientists baffled for nearly two centuries", said the National Geographic Society.

The intriguing strange-looking beetle is so rare that researchers succeeded in observing its mating only twice, in 1924 and 1993.

If you think the spiders at Pulau Ubin are so scarily big, then it could be a more hair-raising experience if one is trapped in Charlotte's web.

Reportedly the world's biggest Huntsman spider ever to be photographed, Charlotte is an eight-legged whopper from Queensland, Australia, which became a Facebook sensation of sorts after her photos went viral in recent months.

A cousin of Charlotte also managed to spin headlines in Australia around the same time with its amazing feat.

Huntsman spider named Hermie (cover photo) aroused the interest of many after they saw it displaying 'Herculean' might as it dragged a poor mouse up a fridge in a video that went viral.

It would certainly be nightmarish if one were to be chased by a spiky predator.
But your heart might soften if Nelson the hedgehog snorts his way to you. You see, he has no spikes, and there's no way he can protect himself from meaner creatures.

Being taken care of at a rescue centre in Norfolk in the United Kingdom, Nelson gets a pampering oil massage thrice a day for he had lost his fur too.

The heartwarming story is another favourite among readers fascinated by news on the animal kingdom this year.

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