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Island gigantism is a biological phenomenon where animals that live on isolated islands tend to grow larger because of a lack of predators and competition which would otherwise be present on the mainland. Rather than being caused by a novel selection pressure, as is thought to be the case with the complementary phenomenon of island dwarfism, island gigantism is caused by the removal of constraints. The result are organisms that swell to ponderous sizes. Island gigantism is an apparent counterexample to Bergmann's rule, a generality that states that animals that live near the equator tend to be smaller. Some islands with species that display island gigantism are located near the equator, but still have unusually large animals.
The Lord Howe Island stick insect is another interesting example of island gigantism. This half-foot-long stick insect, called a "walking sausage" due to its appearance, was thought to have been extinct in the 1930s, only to be rediscovered at Ball’s Pyramid, the world's tallest and most isolated sea stack between New Zealand and Australia. A population of 20-30 individuals was found under a single Melaleuca shrub. Some of the population was taken into captivity and bred, now numbering 50 individuals and thousands of eggs. The researchers hope to reintroduce the insects to nearby Howe Island after a campaign to eliminate invasive rats on the island is completed.
‘Pair bonding’ is unusual in insects and not clearly defined, but there are reports that adult males and females of the Thorned Devil (Eurycantha horrida) from New Guinea, probably the LHISIs’ closest living relative, form bonds if kept together for a period. The FAQ website www.small-life.co.uk sites the example of “when a pair of adult New Guinea stick insects that have been particularly close, living together as adults for a year, and then one dies [sic]. In these situations, when one dies (of old age) the surviving stick insect not only stays with the other stick insect as it dies, gently touching it, but remains with the corpse for a few days afterwards. Sometimes the survivor refuses to eat or drink and dies as well. This behaviour is not seen in New Guinea stick insects that are not in close bonds.”
Originally posted by jonnywhite
I wonder why bugs did not become intelligent.
Maybe some bug somewhere else did and is flying around in bug spaceships.
Originally posted by paulvh
edit on 3-3-2012 by paulvh because: Learning to embed