(぀◔ΰ±ͺβ—”)γ€β”β˜†οΎŸ.*ο½₯q゚ The 2023 TKSST Gift Guide βœ©Β°ο½‘β‹†ο½₯゚ Β 
Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox.   SUBSCRIBE
The Kid Should See This

Why Is The Very Hungry Caterpillar So Dang Hungry?

Watch more with these video collections:

Monarchs are ravenous for milkweed. California pipevine swallowtail caterpillars want lots of pipevine. Why are these very hungry caterpillars so hungry?

β€œCaterpillars have to store up incredible reserves of proteins,” said Carol Boggs, an ecologist at the University of South Carolina. β€œNectar doesn’t have much protein. Most of the protein that goes to making eggs has to come from larval feeding.”

Caterpillars are the larval stage of a butterfly. Their complete transformation to pupa and then to butterfly is a strategy called holometaboly. Humans are in the minority among animals in that we don’t go through these very distinct, almost separate, lives. We start out as a smaller version of ourselves and grow bigger.

But from an evolutionary point of view, the way butterflies transform makes sense.

β€œYou have a larva that is an eating machine,” said Boggs. β€œIt’s very well-suited to that. Then you’re turning it into a reproduction machine, the butterfly.”

See these eating machines in action as they fuel up and transform in this episode of KQED’s Deep Look.

Next: Monarch Butterfly Metamorphosis in HD, Witness butterflies emerge at the CalAcademy, and what happens to a caterpillar inside its chrysalis?

🌈 Watch these videos next...

Witnessing butterflies emerge at the California Academy of Sciences

Rion Nakaya

What happens to a caterpillar inside its chrysalis?

Rion Nakaya

Visiting the Reserva de la BiΓ³sfera Santuario Mariposa Monarca

Rion Nakaya

The Unseen Incredibleness of Mealworms

Rion Nakaya

The unexpected beauty & design of a mosquito’s metamorphosis

Rion Nakaya

The Sound of Millions of Monarch Butterflies

Rion Nakaya

The Metamorphosis of a Dragonfly

Rion Nakaya

The Magnificent Monarchs: Visit a butterfly sanctuary in Mexico

Rion Nakaya

The caterpillar to chrysalis transformation in real time

Rion Nakaya