Why Is The Very Hungry Caterpillar So Dang Hungry? | Deep Look

by birtanpublished on September 11, 2020

let's face it butterflies get all the glory fluttering around with their flashy looks but caterpillars they're more than just an awkward adolescent phase they do all the hard work so that one day they

Can look like this as adults butterflies really only have one job meeting they're basically flying reproduction machines powered by sugar water their proboscis is made for sipping nectar but that liquid diet doesn't give them much of

The protein they need to make eggs so that hungry hungry caterpillar has a big job to do it's not just eating for itself it's stockpiling the protein it will need later on to make the next

Generation it starts by eating its way out of the egg no leftovers then it's on to the main course these pipevine Swallowtail caterpillars are chowing down on their

Favorite and only food the pipevine for a monarch caterpillar it's all about the milkweed in two weeks they'll grow 20 times longer that's like a human baby growing as tall as a three-story building a caterpillar can't see very

Well so it uses ant any to smell for food not those big ones on top those are for feeling around it's the tiny ones right down there it eats and eats and eats storing up as much protein as possible leaves are about one-quarter

Protein after packing on the pounds for a couple of weeks this monarch caterpillar is finally ready for the big day it weaves a ball of silk on a branch then it hooks onto it with its backside and let's go

Look through its skin there's something wiggling in there the caterpillar pumps and pushes until it splits open shedding all traces of its youth including its face

the outer skin hardens into the chrysalis that protects the pupa inside its stomach shrinks its giving up its gluttonous ways when the butterfly emerges days later it uncurls it's

Brand-new proboscis to pieces called Galia that have to be zipped together into a single straw before the butterfly can use it and it lets those glorious wings unfold they'll take it to find mates and a juicy new plant to lay its

Eggs on using that stored up protein this complete metamorphosis is called hollow metabolic multiple lives in a single life it takes a lot of work and butterflies only live a few weeks but this strategy is not as rare as you

Might think in the animal kingdom it's incredibly common mammals like us are the weird ones after all our face doesn't fall off when we grow up hey it's Lauren can you spot the chrysalis is hanging on this

Branch they need that camouflage otherwise they'd be sitting ducks for predators are you looking for something new try above the noise a new series from KQED and PBS Digital Studios that cuts through the hype of today's

Headlines with science see you next time

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