The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Gettin' Bugged

Now and then, I read an article that is heartwarming. One that reinforces my faith in man and insect. Did I just write "insect?"  Yes, indeed I did. I am talking about something called "Tree Lobsters" (formal name: Dryococelus australis). Fascinating creatures, as are most insects, who were thought extinct back in 1960 after being eaten by non-indigenous rats between 1918 and 1920 on their native soil of Lord Howe Island well off the east coast of Australia.

They were found on this island (Ball's Pyramid), maybe 15 miles away, in 2001. Not a lot of them, just 24. After many meetings and much debate, it was decided that just four of the creatures could be taken from the island in hopes of bringing them back from the edge of extinction.

I was almost brought to tears when reading this:

"The plan was to take one pair and give it a man who was very familiar with mainland walking stick insects, a private breeder living in Sydney. He got his pair, but within two weeks, they died.

Adam And Eve And Patrick

That left the other two. They were named 'Adam' and 'Eve,' taken to the Melbourne Zoo and placed with Patrick Honan, of the zoo's invertebrate conservation breeding group. That's Patrick on the left with Adam and Eve, though I do not know which is which... except for Patrick. At first, everything went well. Eve began laying little pea-shaped eggs, exactly as hoped. But then she got sick. According to biologist Jane Goodall, writing for Discover Magazine:

   Eve became very, very sick. Patrick ... worked every night for a month desperately trying to cure her. ... Eventually, based on gut instinct, Patrick concocted a mixture that included calcium and nectar and fed it to his patient, drop by drop, as she lay curled up in his hand.

Her recovery was almost instant. Patrick told the Australian Broadcasting Company, 'She went from being on her back curled up in my hand, almost as good as dead, to being up and walking around within a couple of hours.'"

Eve's eggs were harvested and the captive population grew to 11, 376 in 2008. Now comes the problem... re-introducing these creatures to their native habitat, Lord Howe's Island.

Read more at: Six-Legged Giant Finds Secret Hideaway


The Jules said...

That's great! So nice to see that sort of dedication.

 Bit of a genetic bottle neck though, but if they get through the next few hundred thousand years, they should be fine.

Douglas4517 said...

 After thinking about it... I would figure that time span to be closer to a few hundred years. Eve was fairly prolific. As have been her descendents.