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Why is the very hungry caterpillar so dang hungry?


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There once was a very hungry caterpillar that ate and ate and ate...  During certain times of the year you will see caterpillars voraciously gnawing on leaves of various plants in an effort to ingest as much as possible, seemingly never stopping to rest.  Why is it this the case? 

Additional Resources for you to Explore

How does the caterpillar attach to the branch to form its chrysalis?  It uses the cremaster.  Find out more about it here.  What an amazing adaptation!

Need some help understanding that complete metamorphosis thing?  Click here and learn from "ask a biologist!"

The monarch butterfly might actually be in peril.  This site: Monarch Watch, will give you some ideas of how you can help. Learn about is food supply, amazing migration and more.  Watch this TED Ed lesson about some tiny tracker that are being put on the monarchs to follow their movements.  Why might monarch butterflies be in danger of disappearing?  Read this Scientific American blog:  Monarchs in Peril. Then watch this:  Monarchs: The Milkweed Mission.

Interested in another butterfly that undergoes complete metamorphosis?  Try the swallowtail butterfly! This video also describes how metamorphosis occurs:  What REALLY Happens When a Caterpillar Turns Into a Butterfly...then watch How Does Bug Soup Become a Butterfly?

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