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The master-of-disguise creature whose whole life is an elaborate lie

From being born in eggs that resemble seeds, to spending its nymph stage disguised as an ant, to mimicking a leaf swaying in the breeze in its final, adult form, the Australian walking stick (Extatosoma tiaratum) spends its entire life undercover, although, ironically, never as a stick. Part of KQED’s science documentary series Deep Look, this short video traces the developmental stages in the life of this large species of stick insect endemic to Australia, to show how each of its disguises provides the shape-shifting creature with a unique evolutionary benefit.

Video by KQED Science

Producer and Writer: Mike Seely

Narrator and Writer: Laura Klivans

Cinematographers: Jordan Dean, Josh Cassidy

28 February 2022

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