Introducing the Lord Howe Island stick insect

wacky By Kathleen Atkins

A 1918 shipwreck on a South Pacific Island almost doomed the entire population of an indigenous creature known as the Lord Howe Island stick insect. Big as it was — as large as a human hand — it was no match for the rats from the wrecked British supply ship. It took a mere two years for the rats to finish off the entire population on the island.

Amazingly, a remnant of these nearly extinct insects managed to survive on a tiny island, eight miles away. They were discovered 225 feet above sea level, perched on a cliff.

Today, a colony of these strange and wonderful animals lives in the Melbourne Zoo. But even in a zoo, birth is difficult for these creatures, as you’ll see in this video. Play the video

Lord Howe Island Stick Insect hatching from Zoos Victoria on Vimeo.

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All Windows Secrets articles posted on 2012-03-08:

Kathleen Atkins

About Kathleen Atkins

Kathleen Atkins is the Windows Secrets associate editor. She's also a freelance writer, editor, and photographer. Prior to joining Windows Secrets, she worked at Microsoft Press.