3-D Scans Reveal Caterpillars Turning Into Butterflies

This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Caryl 6 years, 4 months ago.

  • Creator
    Topic
  • #34581

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2013/05/14/3-d-scans-caterpillars-transforming-butterflies-metamorphosis/

    The transformation from caterpillar to butterfly is one of the most exquisite in the natural world. Within the chrysalis, an inching, cylindrical eating machine remakes itself into a beautiful flying creature that drinks through a straw.

    This strategy—known as holometaboly, or complete metamorphosis—partitions youngsters and adults into completely different worlds, so that neither competes with the other. But what goes on inside a pupa?

    We know that a larva releases enzymes that break down many of its tissues into their constituent proteins. Textbooks will commonly talk about the insect dissolving into a kind of “soup”, but that’s not entirely accurate. Some organs stay intact. Others, like muscles, break down into clumps of cells that can be re-used, like a Lego sculpture decomposing into bricks. And some cells create imaginal discs—structures that produce adult body parts. Click on the link above to learn more. It’s absolutely fascinating.

Viewing 2 replies - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)
  • Author
    Replies
  • #34586

    Caryl
    Participant

    And another thank you from me! Wonderful.

    #34585

    Errol
    Participant

    Jacqui, it’s amazing the bits you come up with. Thanks for showing us this.

Viewing 2 replies - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.