Tree lobster thought to be extinct found alive

The tree lobster insect that was thought to be extinct for 80 years was found alive on a rock in the South Pacific Ocean.

Last Updated: Mar 02, 2012, 22:44 PM IST

London: The tree lobster insect that was thought to be extinct for 80 years was found alive on a rock in the South Pacific Ocean.

Scientists have discovered 24 of the creatures living 500 feet above the South Pacific Ocean around the single plant that had survived on the rock, the Daily Mail reported Friday.

The 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.

On all sides the rock face drops off vertically making it almost impossible for anything to survive - but the insects somehow did.

The six legged `tree lobster` or, Dryococelus australis, was actually presumed extinct since none had been seen on Lord Howe Island since 1920.

IANS