Sci-tech

Surprise Survivors: Tortoise & Bee Presumed Extinct Recently Rediscovered

Surprise Survivors: Tortoise & Bee Presumed Extinct Recently Rediscovered

While the bee does look horrifying, it is a bee, so it probably isn't itching to sting you unless it feels threatened (and again, it's in a part of Indonesia where it wasn't found for 38 years) but still, I'm certainly not going to sleep well tonight knowing this creature is out there somewhere.

And thus, the Wallace's giant bee (Megachile pluto) entered the world of scientific literature. The female's size has been recorded as at least an inch and a half long, with a tongue that's almost an inch long. "Local informants had never seen the bee prior to its rediscovery, although a specific folk epithet, o ofungu ma koana, 'king bee, ' is based on it".

We've been hearing for a while now that the honeybee population is in danger, and of the catastrophic effects that might bear, but today let's focus on some good bee news, or rather, two bits (o-honey) of recent news, that appear completely unrelated, but honestly, how could they bee?

"To actually see how attractive and big the species is in life, to hear the sound of its giant wings thrumming as it flew past my head, was just incredible", Bolt added.

Wallace's Giant Bee was named after discoverer Alfred Russell Wallace, who found the massive species in 1958.

The trip was supported by environmental group Global Wildlife Conservation, which launched a worldwide hunt for 25 "lost species".

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He told Newsweek that for the last 40 years, the bee had essentially been hiding in plain sight. But that's not the case: Until recently, the last time anyone had reported seeing Wallace's giant bee living in the wild was in 1981.

The newly rediscovered Wallace's Giant Bee, also called "Raja ofu", or king of bees, has gained widespread media attention.

The global team of scientists and conservationists located the single female Wallace's giant bee in the Indonesian island group of North Moluccas in January. Messer's observations of its behaviors - like how it used its giant jaws to gather resin and wood for its nests - provided some insight, but still, the bee remained generally elusive.

The bee was not seen again by scientists until 1981, when Adam Messer, an American entomologist, rediscovered it on three Indonesian islands. But Wallace's Giant Bee is not extinct.

As has been the case with other historic perceptions about bees, the king bee turned out to be a queen: the females are far larger than the males, which measure less than one inch in length.

Clay Bolt, one of the scientists on the expedition, described seeing the "flying bulldog" of an insect in the wild was "breathtaking".