Every day it appears we are announcing a different animal species as endangered or worse, extinct. It’s a sad state of affairs considering humans are responsible for an embarrassing amount of them. Even before the industrial revolution caused an irreparable amount of damage to our home continents, explorers were responsible for the destruction of a special species on a deserted rocky island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Though it is a small insect, humans believed it to be gone forever. Can an animal species make a vast comeback? Can humans actually help solve a problem we created? Read on to find out!
10. Ball’s Pyramid
Ball’s Pyramid is located 12 miles southeast of Lord Howe Island in the Pacific Ocean. It is the remaining vestige of a shield volcano and caldera which was created over 6.4 million years ago. It stands at 1,844 feet in elevation yet is only 3,600 feet in length. Find out how the island was discovered in #9.
9. The Island Discovery
The interesting island was discovered by its namesake Henry Lidgbird Ball in 1788 during the same voyage of the Lord Howe Island discovery. Historical records detail the first person to set foot on Ball’s Pyramid was geologist Henry Wilkinson in 1882 for the New South Wales Department of Mines.
8. What Resides On The Island?
The island is also the home to a very special animal species known as a “tree lobster.” The dryococelus australis, or the Lord Howe Island stick insect, is the large insect that spans the length of a human hand and looks to have a special coat of armor resembling that of a lobster.
7. The Tree Lobster
The insect measures up to 6 inches long and can weight up to one ounce. Males are decidedly larger than females with thicker and sturdier legs. The insect is unable to fly, but can run at a higher-than-average speed. The behavior of this insect is quite peculiar, as you’ll see in #6.
6. The Insect’s Special Bonds
Unlike most insects, male and female tree lobsters can form a special bond with each other. After mating, the female will lay her eggs while dangling from a tree branch and the young insects are born around nine months later. Surprisingly, reproduction can happen without a male present in a process known as parthenogenesis.