Appreciating the Power of the Humble Caterpillar

Posted on July 18, 2017 by Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

Let’s take a moment to consider the caterpillar.

More often than not this humble stage in a butterfly’s life overshadowed by the flashy beauty and elegance of their adult form. Yet, the caterpillar is far more fascinating!

Image: Monarch Caterpillar on an orange flour
Source: Marshal Hedin // Wikimedia

As is so often the case, in the face of beautiful outcomes, we forget to appreciate where things started, and the monumental work it took to get there.

Now I know the life cycle of a caterpillar may not seem like the most interesting subject, but trust me, they are way cooler than we ever give them credit for!

Over the course of their generally short life, they will be born, eat enough protein to carry them through their adult life and laying their own eggs, then shed their skin and encase themselves in a chrysalis, where the majority of its body will liquefy before metamorphosing into a butterfly. And that’s just its life put simply.

To really give you a greater appreciation for one of nature’s most fascinating lifecycles, here’s a beautiful video from the incredible YouTube Channel Deep Look.

Via: Deep Look 1

Time for some truth, my sister and I–both giant nature nerds–had no idea that’s how the process of becoming a butterfly worked. I’m honestly not sure how I thought a caterpillar made its chrysalis, and yet if you had asked me an hour before watching this video how a caterpillar became a butterfly I would have confidently assured you I knew exactly how it worked. There’s probably a lesson to be learned in that little anecdote.

Still have questions?

Now, I was left with a few questions from that first video. Why would it be advantageous for butterflies to have such distinct life stages? How did this process evolve? What happens to the caterpillar inside of the chrysalis?

Fortunately for me (and you too if you had those same questions), I found this great video from SciShow that made clarified a lot for me!

Via: SciShow 2

Nature really is remarkable. From the largest creatures to the smallest, life has evolved fascinating ways to flourish.

If ever we need a reminder of why it’s still an amazing world we really need to look no further than the incredible species we share this planet with, each inhabiting their own unique niche.

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!

-Liesl

Meet a few more creatures!

At Ever Widening Circles (EWC) we’ve featured animals from across the globe that prove “it’s still an amazing world,” take a little journey with us into our Animals Category!

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