| 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.
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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