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Stick Insects

Extatosoma Tiaratum

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The new body has almost totally come out of the old skin. The legs are not yet completely out, which is the reason why it cannot yet stretch out fully. Moulting is not without risks, the new legs, flaps an all, have to pass through the narrow joints of the old legs. When a leg gets stuck, the animal has to break it and leave it behind in the old skin in order to survive. In this picture the rudimentary new left hind leg is clearly visible. It is unusable at this stage, but during the next moult a small but fully functional new leg will develop out of this stump. At the final moult this specimen will have a still bigger new leg, but never the size the original leg would have been.

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