A monstrous insect thought long-extinct has been clinging to survival on a tiny spike of volcanic rock that juts out of the Tasman Sea off the coast of Australia. Considered extinct since 1930 at its original home of Lord Howe Island, the six-inch-long, nocturnal bug nicknamed "tree lobster" has survived in a colony of only 30 or so insects on a nearby sliver of an island called Ball's Pyramid. Robert Krulwich chronicles the Lord Howe stick insect's rise from the dead at his NPR blog.
Like so many colonial mishaps, the rare stick insect was thought entirely wiped out when a British ship carrying black rats crashed near Lord Howe Island in 1918. The rats made it to shore and devoured the entire species in two years — or so we thought.Read More