Why do butterflies have such weird and wingless offspring as caterpillars? The answer is because their life is split in two. One part is for eating, and one for breeding. A caterpillar's only purpose is to eat and grow, so wings would just get in the way. A caterpillar can balloon to an incredible 2,000 times its starting weight. That is like a human baby gaining eight tonnes in a month and becoming the size of a bus. Once it has finished gorging, the caterpillar uses all those calories to transform from ugly bug to winged beauty. The adult - the butterfly - has a very different mission. It needs to attract a mate and lay its eggs far and wide.
Available since: Mon 14 Feb 2011
- Steve LEONARD
- Nigel BEAN
Be captivated, informed and inspired by the world's wildlife.