The Lord Howe Island Phasmid

More from Jane Goodall’s book “Hope for Animals and Their World”.    I’ve deliberately chosen here to highlight a non-warm and fuzzy example of why we should care about whether or not species become extinct.  Just about everyone cares about pandas–I say just about everyone, because there are people who say that pandas are doomed, and the time and resources put into them would be better spent on species with a greater chance of survival. 

And speaking of pandas, who wouldn’t become a bit teary-eyed over the relocation of the young pandas Mei Lan and Tai Shan from the U.S. back to China…via Federal Express.

Meet the Lord Howe Island Phasmid, aka the Land Lobster: 

Okay, it’s a little creepy looking, but its story is phenomenal.  It was thought to be extinct some time in the 1920’s.  Then in 2001, scientists came upon a few live ones clinging to one single melaleuca bush on nearby Ball’s Pyramid: 

Who can imagine a more inhospitable place to live?  And yet there they were.  It illustrates Jane Goodall’s point about the resilience of life.  To paraphrase Shakespeare, life will out.  Anyone who has ever climbed over a barren rock and seen some tiny sprig of something green knows the truth of this. 

So why we should care is this:  without creatures such as this, we would not be reminded so often of the fierce determination and ultimate mystery of life itself.  We would think our struggle to survive is ours alone, and it is not.

One response to “The Lord Howe Island Phasmid

  1. I forgot to mention that when these phasmids sleep, the male wraps three of his legs around the female. That is just…astonishing!

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