How does a caterpillar turn into a butterfly?

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SOME of us may be wondering, how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly. Well in order to become a butterfly, the caterpillar needs to go through four stages which are egg, larva, pupa and adult.

In the first stage, the butterfly eggs are usually laid on the leaves of plants. The egg shape depends on the type of butterfly that laid the egg. In the second stage, the egg hatches and the caterpillar is born.

The caterpillars do not stay in this stage for very long and in order to grow quickly, they will eat most of the time. When they start eating, they instantly start growing and expanding.
In the third and the fourth stage is where the magic happens. As soon as the caterpillar is done growing and they reach their full length/weight, they form themselves into a pupa, also known as chrysalis.

From the outside of the chrysalis, it looks as if the caterpillar may just be resting, but the inside is where all of the action happens. Within the pupa, the old body parts of the caterpillar are undergoing a remarkable transformation, called metamorphosis.

Finally, when the caterpillar has done all of its forming and changing inside the pupa, an adult butterfly will emerge.

This is how a caterpillar changes into a beautiful butterfly. Depending on the type of butterfly, the life cycle of a butterfly may take anywhere from one month to a whole year.

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The Petri Dish is malaysia’s first dedicated science newspaper. Through The Petri Dish we aim to engage the public on the latest developments on biotechnology.