These Giant Stick Insects Never Disappeared, Genetic Tests Confirm

Lord Howe Island stick insects are back for good. Nearly a century ago, they were exiled from their homeland by invasive rats and thought extinct, only to be rediscovered in 2001, confined to a lonely rock spire in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The insects looked different though. They were skinnier and had lost some of their spines, raising questions about their origins.

Now, a new genetic analysis confirms that the two are indeed members of the same species, Dryococelus australis, fi

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