Welcome to the AppalachianTrailCafe.net!
Take a moment and register and then join the conversation

And In Other News

    • BIG NEWS! Published just this week in Current Biology, DNA proof that Dryococelus australis (aka the Lord Howe Island stick insect) is not extinct.

      cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(17)31098-9

      This giant insect was thought to have gone extinct in 1920 after a infestation of rats from a shipwreck on Lord Howe Island eradicated the insect from it's endemic home on the idyllic South Pacific island between New Zealand and Australia. For over 80 years it was on the list of extinct species until in 2001 scientists found a population on Ball's Pyriamid (the world's tallest sea stack) located 14 miles off the coast of the island. This 1844 foot rock jutting out of the sea is so steep it was thought that no significant terrestrial plant or animal life could be supported. However the scientists found 24 specimens living under a single shrub about 330 feet up the rock. Two breeding pairs were captured for a breeding program. This weeks publication reports that DNA testing showed the captive insects from Ball's Stack are less than 1% divergent from the museum species from Lord Howe Island, confirming that they are the same species and not a new species. Climbing of Ball's Stack is prohibited but there are hiking trails on the island. However no camping is allowed and the few hotels run by the 380 residents are very expensive, so bring lots of cash. Also just announced is approval to begin a rat eradication program so the insect can be reintroduced to the island. Start packing.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by odd man out ().

    • odd man out wrote:

      BIG NEWS! Published just this week in Current Biology, DNA proof that Dryococelus australis (aka the Lord Howe Island stick insect) is not extinct.

      cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(17)31098-9

      This giant insect was thought to have gone extinct in 1920 after a infestation of rats from a shipwreck on Lord Howe Island eradicated the insect from it's endemic home on the idyllic South Pacific island between New Zealand and Australia. For over 80 years it was on the list of extinct species until in 2001 scientists found a population on Ball's Pyriamid (the world's tallest sea stack) located 14 miles off the coast of the island. This 1844 foot rock jutting out of the sea is so steep it was thought that no significant terrestrial plant or animal life could be supported. However the scientists found 24 specimens living under a single shrub about 330 feet up the rock. Two breeding pairs were captured for a breeding program. This weeks publication reports that DNA testing showed the captive insects from Ball's Stack are less than 1% divergent from the museum species from Lord Howe Island, confirming that they are the same species and not a new species. Climbing of Ball's Stack is prohibited but there are hiking trails on the island. However no camping is allowed and the few hotels run by the 380 tourists are very expensive, so bring lots of cash. Also just announced is approval to begin a rat eradication program so the insect can be reintroduced to the island. Start packing.


      Super cool!
      In life there are no limitations. Except stupidity. If you're stupid, you're screwed.

      Stephan Pastis
    • New

      If they made it to the sea stack and thrived, isn't it possible they made it off the main island to somewhere else?

      Remember, everyone thought the coelacanth had been extinct for...oh...65 million freaking years until the 1930's...

      However, it is cool to find the little buggers anywhere. The rat story is one of the classics about foreign invasive species causing havoc in paradise...