All animals, including humans, undergo changes, including biochemical, physiological, morphological and anatomical changes. Changes continue throughout our lives as cells die and multiply, and our body changes as we age. But in most animals, the changes are insignificant and often imperceptible. Many changes are hormonal, chemical shifts that affect development and growth.
And then there is a metamorphosis.
Metamorphosis is a biological process in which an abrupt change occurs in the body of an animal.
The word “metamorphosis” in Greek means change or transformation. in the shape of… This entails the transition of the immature form into adulthood at different stages – from one type of life form to a completely different one.
Unlike the typical subtle development of animals, the metamorphoses are dramatic. This is controlled by the release of hormones in the cells. Mammals usually move from adolescence to adulthood and old age gradually, retaining their shape and shape. However, in the process of metamorphosis, the animal goes through these stages and changes from one form or form to another.
Metamorphoses occur in animals such as amphibians, insects and fish. The most common (and popular) examples of metamorphosis are the transformation of a tadpole into a frog and a caterpillar into a butterfly. But, of course, there are other animals that are undergoing metamorphosis and have no less interesting stories.
Butterflies are the adult stage of insects belonging to the group of Lepidoptera, which means “scaly wings” in Greek.
This term is apt because these insects have thousands of tiny overlapping scales on their wings. They give the butterfly a stunning look as the scales have colorful patterns that are unique to their species.
Butterflies have a typical insect body: a head, thorax, abdomen and six legs. They also have an exoskeleton and two antennas.
The first stage of a butterfly’s life is the ovum or egg. These shells are tiny and can be cylindrical, round, or oval. Females attach eggs to the stems or leaves of plants, which serve as food when the larvae hatch.
In the second stage, the larva / caterpillar hatches. A new animal may have multiple legs. Several pairs will be true legs, but some will be false legs (false legs). The caterpillar has an insatiable appetite and eats most of its life. At this stage, he grows a lot, only the outer skin does not grow with the rest of his body. Growing out of the skin, the caterpillar molts, shedding one exoskeleton and replacing it with another. Caterpillars can traverse up to five molts.
The third stage is the chrysalis or chrysalis. The caterpillars find a twig and return home. (They can use a wall or other support.) The exoskeleton splits and exposes the chrysalis. The shell of the pupa hangs like a sack.
The caterpillar breaks inside the projectile. It rearranges its structure by growing a new body, legs and wings. Unlike the caterpillar, the pupa does not eat. It survives on energy from food eaten during the larval stage. This third step can last anywhere from a few days to twelve months.
The final stage is the birth of an adult butterfly. The chrysalis splits and a butterfly appears.
Most adult butterflies live for a week or two. Some species live up to 18 months.
Although termites are found all over the world and in any environment, most termites are found in rainforests.
Termites undergo so-called “incomplete metamorphosis”. This differentiates their life cycle from common insects such as ants, wasps and bees. With complete metamorphosis, juveniles hatch and go through a series of molts and growths at each stage until they become an adult. On the contrary, with incomplete metamorphosis, changes appear more gradually.
Termites are very similar to the adult workers who look after them, and the metamorphosis of a worker termite takes place in three stages:
The egg cycle ends in about four weeks, the nymph stage lasts at least a month (although this depends on the climate), and the adult stage lasts one to several years. The entire process can vary from species to species and vary with ecosystems.
Nymphs are mobile, especially in the later stages. They are not ready for work, but move freely around the nest. The nymph can go up to seven molts, but alone does not molt. Adult workers chew and help them shed the outer skin. Some species, such as wet or dry wood termites, can shed without assistance.
Colony castes occur during working age, and the termite population is consistent with their pheromones and food reserves. For example, there is always a certain number of soldier termites. If war broke out and all the soldier termites died, the pheromone imbalance would restore the balance of the population.
Although termites can live for ten years, their average lifespan is 1–5 years.
It is estimated that there are between 11,000 and 12,000 species of grasshoppers. Large grasshoppers can jump 20 times their body length. Grasshoppers can grow from two to five inches, and females are usually larger than males.
Grasshoppers go through several stages of nymphs. A young grasshopper hatches in its adult form, and the outer skeleton changes as it grows.
Grasshoppers also go through an unfinished process of metamorphosis. It takes about two months for the animals to develop from egg to adult.
Adult females lay eggs all summer and fall, and the eggs clump together to form a pod. Depending on the type, the pods can consist of several eggs or several hundred. Females bury the pods to keep them safe.
The nymph stage is the next phase. After hatching, the nymphs survive on the soft and succulent foliage of the plants. Nymphs are very similar to adult grasshoppers. At this stage, the grasshopper sheds five to six times and the molt enters the adult stage.
This phase can last up to six weeks, after which the creature matures. The lifespan of an adult is about a year. An adult female immediately begins to lay eggs, and she will continue this process throughout her life, laying eggs every three to four days.
Spiders undergo an unfinished metamorphosis. Three complete growth stages:
Arachnids do not have a pupal stage – spiders look like smaller copies of adults. In spiders, the exoskeleton does not grow, so the spider has to shed or shed its exoskeleton several times.
Most spiders drop their eggs into silk bags. Some species can secure their pouches with cobwebs or attach them to leaves or branches. Others carry the sack until the eggs hatch. There are even young spiders that cannibalistically eat their own kind.
The embryonic stage is the production and storage of eggs. Some spiders in temperate ecosystems hibernate in a pouch, and mothers guard the egg pouches from predators.
In a unique technique, female wolf spiders carry a bag and, when the time comes, bite it to free their spiders. The cubs can then spend more than a week on their mother’s back.
The spider stage is the immature phase. Having hatched, they immediately disperse. Someone walks, someone can explode. Hot air ballooning is a tactic that spiders use to travel long distances. They climb onto the object and sit on it. Lifting their belly, they spin silk threads that catch the wind and carry them away. Research shows that in some cases they can travel several miles.
As they grow, spiders shed repeatedly. After molting, they are extremely vulnerable and are carefully guarded by their mother.
On average, spiders live from one to two years. In adulthood, spiders mate and repeat their life cycle. Women tend to live longer. Males usually die after mating.
Tarantulas have an unusually long life. Females live for up to two decades, and these spiders continue to molt even after full maturity. If a female tarantula molts after mating, she has to mate again as a store of sperm, and the exoskeleton excludes the possibility of a new life being born.
Frog evolution is one of the most famous and popular forms of metamorphosis. The early stages of the life cycle are associated with eggs and tadpoles. During the transformation period, the lungs replace the gills, and the limbs expand as the tail disappears.
The frog eggs are released and remain floating in a body of water, usually a pond. An egg bunch is an “egg mass”. One clutch can contain up to 4000 eggs.
The tadpoles hatch and live in the water. Tadpoles are aquatic larvae also called pollivogs. These creatures have oval, short bodies and wide tails, and they lack external gills. The operculum hides the internal gills, which are like a small door that opens and closes.
The tadpole gradually turns into a frog. The transformation involves amazing things like growing arms and legs. The body becomes crisp and the tail loses its silky cover. Soon the tail wrinkles. The lungs develop and the hind legs continue to grow until the transformation is complete. When they shed their skin, the frogs eat part or all of it.
Next: So what do jellyfish eat and how do they eat it?