Monday, June 3, 2013

Metamorphosis Update!

Our skinny little caterpillars didn't stay skinny, nor little, for long!
They ate and grew and shed their exoskeletons many times, over the course of seven to ten days. They were visually plumper every day when we checked on them!
While we watched the caterpillars and talked about what would happen to them, Benjamin climbed into his sleeping bag and pretended he was in a chrysalid.
Then Ben would pop out and pretend he was hatching out as a butterfly.
"Look! I have beautiful wings Mama!"
After seven days, we only had one straggler. Nine caterpillars climbed to the lids of their containers, hung upside down, and began to harden into chrysalides. While they were hardening they would wiggle around inside their covering. We read that this is a natural instinct to ward off predators. Also, as they hardened, a tiny nub of their bodies remained outside of the chrysalides and dropped off like a docked tail of a lamb. The chrysalides formed with a beautiful pattern of two rows of gold-tipped bumps.
Two days later, the last caterpillar joined the group. All of the caterpillars made it! We have ten chrysalides!
We bought flowers and oranges so we will be ready to prepare our butterfly habitat at the end of the week!
We transferred the chrysalides to the pavilion. They are hanging there, very still, secretly transforming. 
Ben is very excitedly waiting for the butterflies emerge!!!

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