DNA confirms amazing Australian isle insect not extinct after all
When black rats invaded Lord Howe Island after the 1918 wreck of the steamship Makambo, they wiped out numerous native species on the small Australian isle in the Tasman Sea including a big, flightless insect that resembled a stick.
But the Lord Howe Island stick insect, once declared extinct, still lives. Scientists said on Thursday DNA analysis of museum specimens of the bug and a similar-looking one from an inhospitable volcanic outcrop called Ball's Pyramid 14 miles (23 km) away confirmed they are the same species. The finding could help pave the way for its reintroduction in the coming years.