These Giant Leaf Insects Will Sway Your Heart | Deep Look

These Giant Leaf Insects Will Sway Your Heart | Deep Look


When is a leaf… …not a leaf? When it’s got a face and six pointy legs. It’s a giant Malaysian leaf insect. You are what you eat definitely applies here. They blend in with their food – which is also
their home – to hide from hungry predators. But how hard is it to be a leaf, really? You just stay still. Really still. But it takes more than that. The mimicry is masterful. Their bodies have intricate veins, just like
a plant does. And on the edges, brown spots, like a crinkly,
damaged leaf. This type of camouflage – where you copy
your natural surroundings – is known as protective resemblance. It’s all they have, since their short antennae
and small eyes don’t really help them spot predators. They cling there, with tiny bifurcated toes. Moving is the biggest mistake this insect
could make. Even when it’s time to lay eggs, it barely
moves a muscle. The eggs just plop down to the forest floor. They’re camouflaged, too. They look like teeny brown seeds… …or leaf insect poop. That’s an egg … and that’s poop. The active young nymphs start out brown, and
transform gradually – taking on a little more green over time. This one’s halfway to a fresh leaf. Its color is set, though. It can’t change it on the fly. But this nymph still has a big migration to
make – getting into a tree – undetected. So, it sways. Yep, like a leaf in the breeze. That funky little walk is all leaf – a dance
of disguise. When it finally ascends, it’ll settle in
seamlessly like this adult. Between nymph and adult, it molts, or sheds
its exoskeleton seven times. Its appearance ages just like a leaf – its
brown spots getting bigger. It may never move from the same tree, living
its whole life as a cunningly concealed copy-cat. Hey there, it’s Lauren. We’ve got more tricky critters for you. Like decorator crabs, who wear stinging anemones. And squid that change the way light bounces
off their skin. Also – we’re close to funding a filming
expedition to Oaxaca, Mexico, to see mezcal worms and other critters. Join us on Patreon today to get us there. We’ve got a limited-time special offer to
sweeten the deal. Link is in the description. Thanks!

100 thoughts on “These Giant Leaf Insects Will Sway Your Heart | Deep Look”

  1. We're living in Indonesia, Java island, not in Malaysia, but I remember, we can find and play with that insect at our childhood

  2. Why does this video make it seem so difficult to be a leaf insect, 😂😂Got me over here stressed for no reason

  3. I have a question..
    Do they think that they have to sway while walking to be safe from predators… or is it just an in-built mechanism ??

  4. I love how these guys even have random brown discoloration along the edges of their bodies to complete their leaf look!

  5. I tried to grab this in Malaysia because i see that the leaf looks different than other leaves but it flew to my face and i almost had a heart attack

  6. Weird how we desperately explore the space for so call intelligent species when we have so much here. So much more

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