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Friday, March 2, 2012

Tree lobster thought to be extinct for 80 years found alive clinging 500ft up on remote Pacific rock taller than Empire State Building

A narrow and forbidding rock that stands higher than the Empire State Building, it does not look like the most welcoming place to set up home.

But that did not stop an insect which was thought to be extinct for 80 years from building its last known colony on the 1,844ft high Ball’s Pyramid.

Scientists have discovered 24 of the creatures living 500ft above the South Pacific Ocean around the single plant that had survived on the rock.

The ‘tree lobster’ insect, which is as large as a human hand, had somehow made its camp despite the lack of food and the harsh conditions.

Nobody could say how they got there in the first place - but four have now been taken off and have bred thousands more to ensure their species survives.

The astonishing discovery was made on Ball’s Pyramid which emerged from the sea seven million years ago off the coast of Australia near Lord Howe Island. Read More