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justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Oct 17, 2013 - 09:49am PT
Not sure if anyone linked the story about the bizarre Ball's Pyramid insect they found they thought went extinct 80 years ago. I love this bug's story: (Edit- apologies if this has already been posted.. the stupid 4-letter word-rule here made it impossible to search)

http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2012/02/24/147367644/six-legged-giant-finds-secret-hideaway-hides-for-80-years

Credit: justthemaid

(Edited version):

On Lord Howe, there used to be an insect, famous for being big. It's a stick insect, a critter that masquerades as a piece of wood, and the Lord Howe Island version was so large as big as a human hand that the Europeans labeled it a "tree lobster" because of its size and hard, lobsterlike exoskeleton. It was 12 centimeters long and the heaviest flightless stick insect in the world. Local fishermen used to put them on fishing hooks and use them as bait.

Then one day in 1918, a supply ship, the S.S. Makambo from Britain, ran aground at Lord Howe Island and had to be evacuated. ...It took nine days to repair the Makambo, and during that time, some black rats managed to get from the ship to the island, where they instantly discovered a delicious new rat food: giant stick insects. Two years later, the rats were everywhere and the tree lobsters were gone.

Totally gone. After 1920, there wasn't a single sighting. By 1960, the Lord Howe stick insect, Dryococelus australis, was presumed extinct.

There was a rumor, though....in 1960 climbers reported seeing corpses [on nearby island, Ball's Pyramid]...

...The only thing to do was to go back... Nick Carlile and a local ranger, Dean Hiscox, agreed to make the climb. And with flashlights, they scaled the wall till they reached the plant, and there, spread out on the bushy surface, were two enormous, shiny, black-looking bodies. And below those two, slithering into the muck, were more, and more ... 24 in all. All gathered near ONE plant.

...The Lord Howe Island stick insect, Dryococelus australis, once believed to be extinct, was found living under a small shrub high up Ball's Pyramid in 2001...

They were Dryococelus australis. A search the next morning, and two years later, concluded these are the only ones on Ball's Pyramid, the last ones. They live there, and, as best we know, nowhere else.

How they got there is a mystery. Maybe they hitchhiked on birds, or traveled with fishermen, and how they survived for so long on just a single patch of plants, nobody knows either. The important thing, the scientists thought, was to get a few of these insects protected and into a breeding program.

That wasn't so easy. The Australian government didn't know if the animals on Ball's Pyramid could or should be moved. There were meetings, studies, two years passed, and finally officials agreed to allow four animals to be retrieved. Just four.

When the team went back to collect them, it turned out there had been a rock slide on the mountain, and at first they feared that the whole population had been wiped out. But when they got back up to the site, on Valentine's Day 2003, the animals were still there, sitting on and around their bush.

The plan was to take one pair and give it a man who was very familiar with mainland walking stick insects, a private breeder living in Sydney. He got his pair, but within two weeks, they died.

Adam And Eve And Patrick

That left the other two. They were named "Adam" and "Eve," taken to the Melbourne Zoo and placed with Patrick Honan, of the zoo's invertebrate conservation breeding group. At first, everything went well. Eve began laying little pea-shaped eggs, exactly as hoped. But then she got sick. According to biologist Jane Goodall, :

"Eve became very, very sick. Patrick ... worked every night for a month desperately trying to cure her. ... Eventually, based on gut instinct, Patrick concocted a mixture that included calcium and nectar and fed it to his patient, drop by drop, as she lay curled up in his hand."

Her recovery was almost instant. Patrick , "She went from being on her back curled up in my hand, almost as good as dead, to being up and walking around within a couple of hours."

Eve's eggs were harvested, incubated (though it turns out only the first 30 were fertile) and became the foundation of the zoo's new population of walking sticks.




Original ST climbing thread about climbing on the island...worth a read as well:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1031298/Balls-Pyramid

Ball's Pyramid Island
Ball's Pyramid Island
Credit: justthemaid
dirt claud

Social climber
san diego,ca
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 17, 2013 - 02:21pm PT
Great post Justthemaid, those things are crazy. That was a good story Pepe, LOL
dirt claud

Social climber
san diego,ca
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 1, 2013 - 05:45pm PT
Credit: dirt claud
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Nov 1, 2013 - 06:24pm PT
Credit: survival
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 12, 2013 - 11:43am PT
Survival, the Hopper Whisperer! Very nice!

I doubt Mighty Hiker checks this, or any, thread any more but this one's for you, Mighty!


From the Life Is Strange Dept; waiting for the termite man I saw this
little guy/gal on my front window...
And just how does one palm vertical glass?

dirt claud

Social climber
san diego,ca
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 26, 2013 - 05:14pm PT
Credit: dirt claud
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 26, 2013 - 07:20pm PT
Claud, that prolly happened in Aussieland where anything that bites you will
prolly kill you. A buddy of mine was visiting friends there and woke up in
his guest bedroom watching this spider spin this cool web in the corner near
his bed. He goes out for breakfast and starts telling them about it and
they all immediately ask,

"Is the web funnel shaped?"

A big stampede for the RAID ensued.



Found this little cutie while working on my deck.
He's all of an inch long but he was most uncooperative - all he wanted
to do was haul balls for some place dark.
Credit: Reilly
Credit: Reilly


This Tarantula Hawk Wasp was good sized, 1-1/4" body?
Credit: Reilly
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 26, 2013 - 08:38pm PT
Credit: mouse from merced
Credit: mouse from merced
Timmc

climber
BC
Nov 26, 2013 - 08:50pm PT
Panama ants
Panama ants
Credit: Timmc
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Nov 26, 2013 - 08:53pm PT
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 27, 2013 - 12:35pm PT
"You don't have to be big to be successful."

Collective wisdom of Pratt, Chouinard, and Harding on Watsonkins and El Cap, for sure.

Grade VII, let's go to the coffee shop.

Ya guide us into that cloud of mosquitoes and I'll slit ya from brinne...
Ya guide us into that cloud of mosquitoes and I'll slit ya from brinney to brisket, Clemens.
Credit: mouse from merced
The ultimate boulder problem.  Stuck inside a ceramic Mark Twain-y cof...
The ultimate boulder problem. Stuck inside a ceramic Mark Twain-y coffee mug with sloping inner walls, this roach is wondering WTF do I do now?
Credit: mouse from merced
It's simple.  You are gonna die, like this one, you little pest.
It's simple. You are gonna die, like this one, you little pest.
Credit: mouse from merced
No way out, Jose Cucaracha!  Your sponsors called, too.  Your perks ar...
No way out, Jose Cucaracha! Your sponsors called, too. Your perks are cancelled, Mr. Superclimber! The North Face doesn't want you around anymore.
Credit: mouse from merced
Sparky

Trad climber
vagabond movin on
Nov 27, 2013 - 03:14pm PT
Zombie ants

Credit: Sparky

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/03/pictures/110303-zombie-ants-fungus-new-species-fungi-bugs-science-brazil/
dirt claud

Social climber
san diego,ca
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 27, 2013 - 03:26pm PT
That's crazy, some real sci-fi stuff there.
dirt claud

Social climber
san diego,ca
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 7, 2014 - 12:09pm PT
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 7, 2014 - 12:44pm PT
Hoh, man! "Daddy, be careful."
She should have said, "We're gonna need a bigger bucket, daddy."
Rudder

Trad climber
Costa Mesa, CA
Jan 7, 2014 - 03:46pm PT
Don't know anything about insects, but this boy was hard at work in the yard of a house I'm working on. That's a Bee he's wrapping up, so you can get a sense of his size, he's a beefy fellow.

Credit: Rudder
dirt claud

Social climber
san diego,ca
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 7, 2014 - 03:49pm PT
I've seen those guys around here too. Never have found out what kind they are.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jan 10, 2014 - 05:49pm PT
You mean "insetcs."
Credit: mouse from merced
The entree.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Feb 17, 2014 - 12:59pm PT
Think you had a rough day?

Credit: Reilly

The weird thing is that after patiently posing for a dozen pics I was
thinking about putting him out of his misery. No sooner than the thoughts
coalesced he emphatically took off!



ps
Rudder's spider looks a Garden Spider but that's not definitive.


Black Widow egg sac...
Credit: Reilly
dirt claud

Social climber
san diego,ca
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 6, 2014 - 11:41am PT
Awesome camo!!/ pic taken from the web
Awesome camo!!/ pic taken from the web
Credit: dirt claud
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