Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wednesday search challenge (3/28/12): How long is it?

Today's challenge is exotic and amazing.  It seems prosaic when I state it, but the search really is worth the trouble.  Trust me on this one.  

A little background info to get you started.  

I'm interested in a particular insect, a kind of walking stick that lives in only one place in the world.  (On the fantastic island pictured below. It's a real place.) Except that wasn't always true.  It used to live on two islands side-by-side somewhere in the Pacific.  Thing is, a ship ran aground on one of the two islands causing this particular insect to become extinct.  Luckily, it went extinct on one of the islands and not the other.  

Why do you care?  Aside from the usual important issues around loss of biodiversity, the insect is extraordinary.  It's huge.  Scarily huge.  Jurassic park huge... and it's still around.  

But today's question is really two-fold.
1.  What was the name of the ship that nearly caused the extinction of this amazing insect?  (For extra credit, why would a ship running aground have such a dire consequence?)  

2.  How long is the body of the insect when it first hatches from the egg?  (This is also totally surprising.)  

As usual, be sure to let us know how you figured out the answers to these questions AND how long it took you! 


  1. 1. Then one day in 1918, a supply ship, the S.S. Makambo from Britain, ran aground at Lord Howe Island and had to be evacuated. One passenger drowned. The rest were put ashore. It took nine days to repair the Makambo, and during that time, some black rats managed to get from the ship to the island, where they instantly discovered a delicious new rat food: giant stick insects. Two years later, the rats were everywhere and the tree lobsters were gone. [search google for large insect island - source NPR blog on Lord Howe's Island Walking Stick]

    2. LHISI Nymphs measure approx. 20mm upon hatching, varying between 16-22 mm [search google for Dryococelus australis hatchling size - source "Husbandry Manual for the Lord Howe's Island Walking Stick]

    Time about 15 minutes

  2. Wow! Something I actually knew about beforehand! Only a couple of weeks ago I read the story on NPR by Robert Krulwich and immediately recognized the picture. A quick search found the name of the boat that caused the presumed extinction of Lord Howe Stick Insects (SS Makambo) due to the introduction of rats.

    It took a little longer to find the size of the hatchlings (about 5-10 minutes). I had to replace Lord Howe Stick Insect with the scientific name (Dryococelus australis) to reduce the results about the story of these creatures rediscovery and included the terms "Nymph size" to get what I was actually looking for (6.5 to 8.5 cm).

  3. First search was for ["ship * aground" walking stick] that gave me

    Searching next for [Dryococelus australis] gave me the Wikipedia article but a little further down was this from NPR

    That named the ship S.S. Makambo and also gave the reason why the Tree Lobsters became extinct.

    "...some black rats managed to get from the ship to the island, where they instantly discovered a delicious new rat food: giant stick insects."

    Time to answer #1 about 5 minutes.

    Haven't found the answer to #2 yet. Need to step away come back fresh.
    Time searching for #2 with no results but the hatchling video 25 minutes.

  4. 1. S.S. Makambo. Black rats from the ship ate the insects. Google image search on supplied image of Ball's Pyramid, then added terms "insect extinction".

    2. 20 mm, according to HUSBANDRY MANUAL FOR
    THE LORD HOWE ISLAND STICK INSECT, found through search on "Lord Howe Island Stick size hatching"

  5. 1. S.S. Makambo - rats
    Google search found - less than 3 minutes - confirmed in and
    2. nymph’s range in size (February 04) from 6.5 to 8.5 cm from -Nymph size took longer - under 10 minutes - google search [Dryococelus australis nymph size] - haven't confirmed really - need to get to work!

  6. 1. S.S. Makambo, black rats aboard the ship found a new food source.

    2. Looks to be 2-4 inches based on video.

    Took about 10 minutes via basic Google search. NPR ran a great story in Feb.


  7. Okay, it took me about 3 minutes to find the species, Dryococelus australis, or Tree Lobster, found on Ball's Pyramid and formerly on Lord Howe's Island, both near Australia. My search string was "stick insect pacific ocean." The fifth link down brought me to this page: which had a picture similar to yours.

    Anyways, that was the easy part. Before finding the length of these insects, I wanted to know why they were wiped out on Lord Howe's Island.

    My next search string was "lord howe island black rats shipwreck." The fourth hit was this site: which talks about the introduction of black rats to the island. This made me think that a shipwreck brought the rats there, so my next search string was "lord howe island shipwreck black rats" which gave me this site:

    Ah ha! A shipwreck in 1918 introduced black rats to the island where they proceeded to eat the tree lobsters (yum!). Next was a search for the boat's name. I used "1918 shipwreck lord howe" which brought me to this page: and this bit of info:

    "Makamba. Steel screw steamer, 1159 tons. Built Scotland, 1907; reg. Sydney, 121180. Length 210 ft. Struck a reef just off Soldiers Cap, Lord Howe Island, 14 June 1918; backed off and sailed to Neds Beach where she grounded. Tons of copra and produce was thrown overboard resulting in a raat plague on the island. A tug travelled from Sydney and towed the vessel back to that port for repairs. [BNN],[SAN - Makambo, vessel lost 15 June 1918]"

    So, the Makamba ran aground, produce was tossed overboard which resulted in a rat plague on Lord Howe's Island. The rats then ate up the entire tree lobster population. It wasn't until 80 years later that the once though extinct insect was found on the nearby island, Ball's Pyramid.

    All that took me about 7 minutes. As for the length at birth, I absolutely could not find ANYTHING other than the 12+ cm it reaches at adulthood. I did find a video of one hatching. I'm curious how others found the answer...

  8. 1. S.S. Makambo ... They became extinct there soon after black rats were introduced to the island in 1918 when the supply ship S.S. Makambo ran aground.

    2. The nymph’s range in size from 6.5 to 8.5 cm

    Did an image search, found the name of the island... the rest was easy peasy only a bit of reading. (English is not my native language). Took about 15 min's.

  9. 1. S.S. Makambo (Rats escaped and eventually ate all the Lord Howe stick insects)

    2. The are full-sized at birth (but green)

    It took me about 90 seconds searching for "giant walking stick".

  10. Image search:
    Best guess for this image: ball's pyramid lord howe island

    First Result:
    Ball's Pyramid - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Fauna Section: Dryococelus australis

    Wikipedia Dryococelus australis: They became extinct there soon after black rats were introduced to the island in 1918 when the supply ship S.S. Makambo ran aground.

    Google Search Dryococelus australis nymphs length:

    The nymph’s range in size (February 04) from 6.5 to 8.5 cm (referred to the individuals used to rebreed the almost extinct population)

    Total time 3 minutes ('cause i know 'bout insects nymphs;).

  11. Google search: "extincted insect rediscovered island", second link.

    5-10 secondes. ;)

  12. Ok came back to question 2. Searched for [Lord Howe Island Stick Insect baby juvenile] trying to get something about the life cycle.

    Results showed [PDF] 

    Command-F for [nymph] to find

    "LHISI nymphs measure approximately 20mm on hatching, varying between 16-22mm."

  13. This one's easy, but I must admit that I didn't come into it entirely cold. I remembered reading about the instect a few weeks ago, when the video of the hatchings trended. Took me about 10 minutes, to find everything.

    First to wikipedia "stick insect", the notable specis section has a link to the Lord Howe's stick insect. That page has the ship's name "S.S. Makambo", and why it caused the near extinction (because of the introduction of black rats).

    Then on googling "lord howe island stick insect hatchling size" the 6th link was a husbanry manual ( that listed the hatchling size as 16-20mm


  14. This search took me about 10 minutes.

    I first dragged the image of the island into Google Images, which resulted in a Wikipedia article on Ball's Pyramid.

    The article has a section on fauna which mentions an insect matching the above description as the Lord Howe Island Stick Insect, which has its own Wikipedia page.

    The insect's article mentions the ship that brought the insect's near-extinction. The S.S. Makambo ran aground there in 1918 and was immobile long enough for black rats to escape onto the island. The rats thrived and devoured many rare species like our stick insects over the next few years.

    The first part of the search took about 1 minute, I found the second answer much harder to find. After many attempts searching for 'Lord Howe Island stick insect nymph length' and other variations came up short, I tried Googling 'Dryococelus australis nymph length'. I was able to find a sort of journal of captive breeding. The article announces newly hatched nymph length of 6.5 - 8.5cm.

    Thank you for the challenge!

  15. 1) SS Makambo (introduced the black rats!)
    -quick search, just search for similar images on google (nice extension on chrome) directed me immediately to the wikipedia page of ball's pyramid, which lists "Lord Howe Island Stick Insect" under the "fauna" section, which quickly revealed the history of how it almost became extinct... (<2 min search time)

    2) Up to 22mm. A little more difficult search, first searched for "Dryococelus australis hatching length" on google, a little ways down found a link to a site which had a video of the hatching process (pretty awesome!)
    But this did not reveal the info I needed....
    second search for "size of lord howe island stick insect hatchling" gave me a hit for the "Husbandry Manual for the Lord Howe Island Stick Insect" at
    A little ways down in section 7.5 "Development of Young" gave the answer of an average of 20mm with a range of 16-22mm. Time on search: 8 minutes (I watched the 6 minute video of the hatching, so minus that I suppose it's only 2 minutes :) )

  16. 1. S.S. Makambo (extra credit - the island faced an invasion of black rats that feasted on the unique insect Dryococelus australis until it was extinct on Lord Howe Island)

    2. The nymphs range in size (February 04) from 6.5 to 8.5 cm

    The Dryococelus australis is only found on Ball's Pyramid, the island pictured above. Though it is currently being bred in captivity at several locations.

    Did an image search with the image provided (just dragged it into another window) and the first link that came up gave the answer to #1 - about 30 seconds. #2 was a bit harder, searched several terms unsuccessfully until I finally got more specific and went with "Dryococelus australis hatching length" and the 4th or 5th link had that info. Took about 10 minutes.

  17. 1) Search for "insect camouflage stick island pacific" which gave me (5th result) Lord Howe Island
    2) Image search for "Lord Howe Island
    " to confirm it's the one with Ball's Pyramid
    3) Wikipedia article, Invertabrates section
    4) Wikipedia article about the insect provides the name of the ship SS Makambo that introduced black rats when she ran aground.

    For the insect size, searched "Dryococelus australis egg nymph size" and got Google Books "The Complete Field Guide to Stick and Leaf Insects of Australia", page 74 says 16-22mm, which is surprising as same book says the egg is 6mm in diameter.

  18. 1) SS Makabo, via the release of black rats.

    2) 16-22mm

    I first tried a TinEye search off of the luck.

    Next I googled "stick insect island shipwreck", which led me to

    That gave me a name--"Ball's Island" A quick Google image search confirmed it was the right place. The same page gave me the name of the insect--"Lord Howe Island stick insect". And a ship name.

    Looking that the bug on wikipedia confirmed the ship's name, and gave a link to (Reference #3), which had a PDF linked as "an unusual insect behavior".

    The PDF gave the procedures used to breed the insect, including the length of nymphs when they hatch.

    Geocurrent's page

  19. Hi, everyone!

    I think I found out the answers...

    [1] The ship was called 'SS Makambo' which had to stay a few days in the Lord Howe Island. This allowed black rats to leave the ship which led to an environmental disaster as the rats extinguish several species.

    [2] The Lord Howe Island Stick Insect egg measures only 4mm although an adult can reach 15 cm. It's surprising how an big insect can hatch from such a small egg.

    It took me about 10 minutes to find out the answers. With the photo you posted here by I searched on Google Images - you just paste the image URL. This showed me the name of the island so I just did simple Google searches and that's it :-)

  20. pictured: Ball's Pyramid, about 14 miles from Lord Howe Island -
    SS Makambo ran aground at Lord Howe in 1918 which seemed to allow for the introduction of ship's Black Rats which soon decimated the Lord Howe Island phasmid along with other native inhabitants (notably bird populations) - a text book example of the perils of invasive species introductions... there was also a cautionary tale regarding corrective actions being taken - the introduction of Masked Owls in the 1920s, which actually just compounded the problem of non-native species
    disrupting an existing native population.
    New hatched "Tree Lobsters" appear to be in the ≈1" range, while mature adults are ≈5-6" long.
    Two sidenotes I found that I found interesting:
    re: the Makambo - She was acquired in 1939 by Okada Gumi KK of Osaka, Japan, and renamed the Kainan Maru. She was torpedoed and sunk on 12 June 1944 by the British submarine HMS Stoic off Phuket, Thailand
    re: the hatching process - the egg structure is fascinating - the egg case seems to have its own escape hatch built in - see the video.
    Didn't have to search for this one - remembered reading the following article earlier this month (includes video) - had emailed it to a friend, went back & found the email/link and went from there. Spent hour or so getting additional info/background/corroborating sources.
    NPR article
    Makambo Wiki

  21. The ship was the SS Makombo (rats left the ship and ate most of the poulation of stick insects) - found on, after searching for "stick insect cliffs rats" and finding a reference to the island, then looking up "lord howe island stick insect": they actually only survive in the wild on one bush on the stack called "Ball's Pyramid"
    Also included in the search results was a link to with a video of the hatching, from which you can estimate the length of the body as about 20mm.
    Took about 20 minutes, although 6 were spent watching the video

  22. The island is ”Ball's Pyramid”, one of The Lord Howe Island Group of islands ('s_Pyramid) I searched with the original image in Google images.

    The insect is: the Lord Howe Island stick insect: Dryococelus australis (on the same Wikipedia page). Adult Lord Howe Island stick insects can measure up to 15 centimetres. More information on:

    The name of the ship is: the supply ship SS Makambo. The insects became extinct soon after black rats were introduced to the island in 1918 when the supply ship S.S. Makambo ran aground.

    The nymph’s range in size from 6.5 to 8.5 cm.
    Verbatim Google search on [Dryococelus australis size Nymph]

    The eggs of Lord Howe Island Stick Insects (LHISI) are relatively large, about 6.2mm long and 3.6mm wide. The entire egg is about the size and shape of a tic tac. LHISI nymphs measure approximately 20mm on hatching, varying between 16-22mm.
    Found this information via a Google search [Lord Howe Island stick insect nymph]

    It took roughly 3 minutes to find this information.

  23. i had heard this story before. so i was at an (unfair?) advantage.

    1: i searched on "extinct stick bug" the wikipedia page has much information including the name of the ship:
    "S.S. Makambo" with a citation to an NPR article confirming name of said ship. NPR is where i first heard about this.

    2: i searched on "Dryococelus australis nymph size" and found several articles, including:
    quoting the nymph size at 6.5 to 8.5cm.
    however it does not say this is the size at hatching.

  24. It took me about 30 seconds to put 'giant stick insect island' in to duckduckgo and get out of it.

    1: S.S. Makambo
    1b: Rats!

    Much harder was the size at time of hatching - eventually, "Dryococelus australis hatching length" got me to where there's a video of a hatching one that some out at about 5x the size of its egg, which is described as 'pea sized' elsenet.

    I still don't have an exact size, but I'm going to go with 1.5-2", and that's really guessing. I look forward to more answers...

    1. duckduckgo instead of Goo? - privacy/security concerns?... just curious, is it your primary SE of choice?

  25. Hello!
    The island in the picture is called Ball's Pyramid (South Pacific Ocean), home of the Lord Howe Island Stick Insect.
    My answers are:
    1. Name of the ship: Mokambo; shipwreck happened in 1918 and the rats from the ship ate all the insects;
    2. On hatching insecys measures from 16 to 22 mm, average 20.
    I started searching "gigantic insect pacific ocean" and the 5th result is about an insect thought extinct but found alive. So I found out the name of the insects and this was the starting point for all the rest. A pdf manual on husbandry for this insect gave me the information on the dimensions when hatching.
    It's my first attempt ... I hope I did it right.
    Thank you for our always interesting questions :)

  26. 1. The name of the ship that ran aground was the "S.S. Makambo". Rats subsequently escaped from the ship to the island and, finding the walking sticks to be a tasty food source, caused their extinction.
    2. Nymph size ranges from 6.5 to 8.5 centimeters in length - about 10X the size of the egg!

    This search took about 30 minutes, the key search phrases were "walking stick insect lives on only one island" (yielded a very informative article on the website) and "Dryococelus australis egg hatch size" yielded the nymph size.

    Very interesting topic today - thanks!

  27. The insect is Lord Howe Island Stick insect (dryococelus australis); it lives only on Ball's Pyramid. The Shipwreck that caused their extinction on Howe Island was that of the S.S. Makambo in 1918, which introduced rats to the island.

    The best comment I could find on the size of newly hatched nymphs was "as long as your finger"...
    A video of the hatching can be seen here:

    How did I find this info? I had seen it on scientific american a few weeks ago, and remembered the island was somewhere in the Pacific near Australia; I searched for "insect island australia" and found references to it at once. Combing through to find the name of the ship and the insect video link took about 15-20 minutes, interrupted by a couple of library patrons!

  28. The first result on Google for "giant stick insect" (without the quotation marks) is the Wikipedia page of Dryococelus australis. Funnily enough, the link was purple which means I've visited it fairly recently, I think reddit was the source. Anyway, read through the page you'll find the answer to the first question: "They became extinct there soon after black rats were introduced to the island in 1918 when the supply ship S.S. Makambo ran aground."

    The first question was no challenge at all, taking all of 1 minute. However, the second was a bit more interesting, I estimate 10 minutes. First I searched for "dryococelus australis hatch size" (without quotation marks). The fourth result was The Complete Field Guide to Stick and Leaf Insects of Australia which didn't give me the answer but contained an invaluable clue: newly-hatched phasmids are known as first-instar nymphs. So I Googled "Dryococelus australis first instar nymph size" (again, without the quotation marks) and the third result was the incredibly interesting (no, I mean it!) HUSBANDRY MANUAL FOR THE LORD HOWE ISLAND STICK INSECT ( An in-document search for "instar" reveals the following: "LHISI nymphs measure approximately 20mm on hatching, varying between 16-22mm".

  29. SS Makambo, rats from the ship ate the Dryococelus australis, only place left is Ball's Pyramid

    It took me about 2 minutes to find that information from this google search: walking stick insect on only one island in the world

  30. Took less than 10 seconds to find the NPR article (I read this on the day it was posted so I knew, generally, the answer). The islands are Ball's Pyramid and Lord Howe Island in the South Pacific off the coast of Australia.

    The ship was the S.S. Makambo and of course the "dire consequences", in this instance, was the introduction of rats to the island which decimated the population of "Dryococelus australis." (

    The nymphs are approximately 6.5 to 8.5 cm long. (

  31. The answer to the question is mostly irrelevant to me. While I find the information is very interesting the process of finding the answer is more intriguing to me. I performed a simple Google search for "ship that affected the extinction of an insect" I spent about 15 seconds to type and review the search results. The top ranked page titled "Six-Legged Giant Finds Secret Hideaway, Hides For 80 Years" had all of the information.

  32. Same info. Pretty quick after guess (rats) it was rats < 5 minutes.
    Google search "extinct stick insect rats island"

  33. 1. the S.S. Makambo in 1918 crashed into the island in Australia and all the black rats ate up the bugs into extinction.
    2.The baby bugs grow up to become about 16-22 mm from a small egg

    How did i find this?
    I heard about this on the news a couple weeks ago and just google up "tree lobster island" and found the picture of the island and got the answer in the bag. then i just make simple searches to find 1 and 2. It took me about 2 minutes.

  34. 1. The name of the ship was SS Makambo. It ran aground on Lord Howe Island for 9 days, giving black rats enough time to inhabit the island and thrive, feeding on the Lord Howe Island stick insect.

    2. A baby Lord Howe Island stick insect measures 6.5 to 8.5 cm, at least as a nyphm.

    I googled "ship crash extinct insects", without quotes, and the 4th result down was this page:

    In it, I discovered the insect name, which was Lord Howe Island stick insect. A wikipedia search later gave me the name of the ship, and a quick click through gave me more information on what happened to the ship.

    For the second answer, I googled "Dryococelus australis nymph length" and again clicked the 4th result, which took me to this page:

  35. Took me about 30 seconds. I searched for "Giant Walking Stick Insect" on Google, which sent me to the wikipedia page for phasmatodea. There's a section for Notable Species, which pointed me to the name "Lord Howe Island Stick Insect", now only alive on Ball's Pyramid (the island pictured above).

    I searched for Lord Howe Island Stick Insect and it pointed me to the Dryococelus australis Wikipedia page, which mentions the SS Makambo running aground on Lord Howe Island in 1918, introducing rats to the island and wiping out the population of the stick insects.

    I couldn't find their size upon hatching, but the eggs are only about 4mm long, so I suppose that would be the size of the newly-hatched stick insects as well. This is somewhat surprising for a creature that measures 15cm long as an adult.

  36. Searched, via Google, the following: giant walking stick aground
    Found the NPR story
    Total time...about 30 seconds to locate the information. Three minutes to glean the data from the article.

  37. I saw an article a few weeks ago, so it wasn't hard to track down the name of the bug or the island. The size of the nypm, though, was very elusive.

    1. SS Makambo, and apparently rats from the ship (Rattus rattus) are responsible for wiping out the bugs.

    2. About 4 cm. I finally found which I decided was good enough.

  38. 1. SS Makambo: During the shipwreck, some black rats left the ship, went to the island, and began feasting on the stick insect.
    2. Approximately 20mm on hatching with a variance of 16-22mm.

    I used Google Images on the picture from the post, looked through the first couple of links and saw a page about an insect saved from extinction: (

    I then searched under "Dryococelus australis" or "Lord Howe Island stick insect" + hatch length and came across a Husbandry Manual for the Lord Howe Island stick insect seven google links down the page (

    time: 10 minutes

  39. Insect size upon hatching on page 18:

  40. I found number 1 in about 20 seconds searching for " walking stick one island" the second part took a little bit longer about 4-5 minutes.

  41. Google Search: longest walking stick + extinction event =

    1. What was the name of the ship that nearly caused the extinction of this amazing insect? S.S. Makambo (For extra credit, why would a ship running aground have such a dire consequence? Released black rats that ate the insects)

    Google Search: Dryococelus australis + nymph size =

    2. How long is the body of the insect when it first hatches from the egg? 6.5 - 8.5cm

    Total research time = 6 minutes

  42. 1. What was the name of the ship that nearly caused the extinction of this amazing insect? (For extra credit, why would a ship running aground have such a dire consequence?) S.S. Makambo - The rats from the ship discovered the delicious giant stick insects.

    2. How long is the body of the insect when it first hatches from the egg? (This is also totally surprising.) ~20mm

    Research time is about 10 minutes (due to question #2, which eventually led me back here haha)

  43. 1. What was the name of the ship that nearly caused the extinction of this amazing insect?

    ans. SS Makambo ran aground on near Neds beach on June 15 rats caused the extinction of Lord Howe Island Stick insect
    (Dryococelus australis)

    i searched "walking stick insect" found a Wikipedia article Phasmatodea read through and found notable species Lord howe Island Stick insect and the ship SS Makambo, took me 10 minutes

    2. How long is the body of the insect when it first hatches from the egg?
    According to Paul Brock & Jack Hasenpusch of The Complete Field Guide to Stick and Leaf Insects of Australia. The nymph can vary between 16-22mm

    it took me 20 minutes to get this answer. I tried search phrase "size of lord howe island egg","length of lord howe island egg"...then "size of lord howe island nymps". the 4th search results points me to The Complete Field Guide to Stick and Leaf Insects of Australia google book search results

    I guess its about the accuracy and familiarity of technical terms

  44. >> What was the name of the ship that nearly caused the extinction of this amazing insect? (For extra credit, why would a ship running aground have such a dire consequence?)

    S.S. Makambo. When the ship ran aground at the Lord Howe Island, some black rates got to the island from the ship, where they discovered their new tasty food -- those giant stick insects which the Europeans called them "tree lobsters". 2 years later, the rats were everywhere, but the tree lobsters were all gone.

    >> How long is the body of the insect when it first hatches from the egg? (This is totally surprising).

    ~20mm, varying b/w 16-22mm.

    >> As usual, be sure to let us know how you figured out the answers to these questions AND how long it took you!

    Just put in all the keywords in Google: two pacific island long extinct insect ship.

    The original article is the 3rd links on page one. That gave me the answer for question #1. To find the answer of question #2, I clicked on the linked text "an unusual insect behavior" in the article and search for "mm" within the PDF.

    Times taken: 5 minutes

  45. Q1:
    Got it with just one search:
    [walking stick insect unique two island ship extinct]
    Gave :

    Insect: Dryococelus australis or Lord Howe stick insect/Tree Lobster
    Ship: S.S. Makambo from Britain ran aground at Lord Howe Island.
    Extinction: Black Rats escape from ship(Non indigenous rat species eat up the Tree lobster)

    [Dryococelus australis egg hatch length]
    Hatchling length:Egg size 6mm(Not sure about hatchling size)


  46. walking stick

    my first search was “rare walking stick one island pacific” which took me to:

    The photograph, matched the one in the search request so I knew I was on the right path. The place was called Ball’s Pyramid. The Article tells how the S.S. Makambo ran aground on Nearby Lord Howe Island and Black rats escaped from the ship and devoured the giant insects that lived on the island.

    My initial search was quick. just 3 minutes including time to read the article. I then took time to watch the video.of the egg hatch.

    my search for the length was longer (pun intended) the search terms “Dryococelus australis hatching length melbourne zoo” were used and I spent time reading and browsing about the critters and the area and not just searching. The answer was found at the page : “From these 21 eggs, seven nymphs survive ranging in size from 6.5 to 8.5cm “

    the whole process was one hour and 10 minutes.

  47. Drag and drop the island image above into Google image search and you have your answer. Virtually no need to search! Let the Google work for you.

  48. What was the name of the ship that nearly caused the extinction of this amazing insect? (For extra credit, why would a ship running aground have such a dire consequence?)
    S.S. Makambo because the black rats that came on the ship were particularly fond of Lord Howe Island stick insects.
    Just googled I am afraid - stick insect largest island and up it came...

    20mm on hatching, varying between
    16-22mm. -
    Looked for Dryococelus australis nymph and after a few false leads got to htis site that looks pretty authoritative -
    Took about ten minutes in all.

  49. Interesting to see how different approaches arrived at the same answer. Luckily, this is a case where there is a factual answer, not always the case with real world questions! The article about the insect in the Daily Mail was rather nice.

  50. I searched for the image in google... presto... third link. TOO easy

  51. Google Image Search was the whole thing; that and the Wikipedia article it found, though the size was a conclusion you had to draw. The name of the ship wasn't linked in from the wikipedia article, but a Google text search on Lord Howe's Island 1918 brought it up quickly. Wikipedia relies on individuals to put in these links; Google text search finds the conjunction easily. I spent a few minutes with dbpedia and came to the conclusion that I shouldn't.

    I thought I'd remembered Lord Howe's Island...I think I tried to talk to them on the radio last year:

  52. Google "ship crashes in Pacific extinct walking stick". Took about 3 minutes.

  53. Searched for "huge stick insects" in Google. Clicked on the first non-video link "Phasmatodea - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia" ( and read pieces of the article. Found a "Notable species" section where they linked to "Dryococelus australis" (

    "Adult Lord Howe Island stick insects can measure up to 15 centimetres (5.9 in) in length"

  54. <2 minutes:
    Google search to find the name of the animal (world's largest walking stick insect) led to Wikipedia page Phasmotodea which led to the page Lord Howe Island Stick Insect, which in turn mentions the ship (S.S. Makambo) and cause of extinction (rats).

    Another 2 minutes:
    Google searches for the length failed, so I tried a Google Scholar search which led to the paper "Notes on the biology, captive management and conservation status of the Lord Howe Island Stick Insect ( Dryococelus australis ) (Phasmatodea)" which gave the following size for a newly hatched insect: 19.73 mm (range 13.61–23.57, n = 1,235)

  55. too easy, Image search of the island link right to the solution...
    for the insect (In french):

    for the boat:

    1. But you didn't find out how long the nymph was! How easy was THAT for you?

  56. First part was easy:
    Searched google images for the pic and in another tab searched for large insects. Then i see the image as been recognized as ball's pyramid. So i did a search for huge insects ball's pyramid and the third link is wiki on Dryococelus australis.History and conversation of Wikipedia said , quote : black rats were introduced to the island in 1918 when the supply ship S.S. Makambo. Question 1 answered under 3 mins.

    Second part:
    This section took around 20 mins, cuz i dont usually open pdf files , from google search. So when i downloaded "HUSBANDRY MANUAL FOR
    THE LORD HOWE ISLAND STICK INSECT" i searched for nymph and got that it is between 16-22mm