Thorny Devil Walking Sticks Hatched at RHZ



SalinaScoop

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Feb 14, 2021
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Oh Baby! Our thorny devil walking sticks are just a few months old and are already growing fast. Like many insects, our babies are on their own from the moment they hatch and must survive without any help from their parents.

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Lucky for them they are born with excellent camouflage and look exactly like a small twig, which makes it hard for predators to find them. They can even alter their colors from light to dark brown or even a green color in order to blend in better. When they walk they move in a wobbly fashion to appear as if they are simply a twig blowing in the wind.

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Baby walking sticks can begin eating right away and munch on a variety of leaves. At Rolling Hills Zoo we give them a variety of browse leaves such as cottonwood, elm and oak. They can also eat romaine lettuce or even banana peels!

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As our babies grow they will become a solid dark brown with lots of spiny spikes on their legs and thorax for even more protection. They will also become sexually dimorphic, meaning the males and females will look different. Males have big spurs on the thighs of their back legs, while females have a pointy abdomen to help deposit their eggs.

Our babies are still too young for us to determine their sex, but next time you come to the zoo see if you can tell which of the adults on exhibit are males and which are females.

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