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Stick Insects

Extatosoma Tiaratum

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The same specimen as in the previous picture, a week before its death. The normally fat abdomen, full of developing eggs, has now a dried-out and wrinkled appearance. It seems that as soon as egg-laying has almost ceased, rapid hormonal changes take place and the other biological functions cease as well, sometimes one by one over a period of about a week. Often, the animal first loses the use of one or more legs which then break off, and finally the use of its mandibles, causing it to starve in a few days.

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