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Diary of Our Caterpillars

As part of our science, Living Things and Their Habitats, we invested in caterpillars to support the children’s knowledge and understanding of life cycles. When the caterpillars arrived, they were 1cm. They have grown so much in the past two weeks! Miss Morgan is now caring for the caterpillars in her home and will be posting videos and pictures to keep you updated on their journey from caterpillar to butterfly.  

6.5.20- The final stage!

Our butterflies have finally emerged! Over the past two weeks, the caterpillars have been transforming into butterflies. Did you know when a caterpillar changes into a butterfly, this is called metamorphosis? When the butterfly first emerges from the chrysalis, both of the wings are soft and folded against its body. This is because the butterfly has to fit all its new parts inside of the chrysalis. Fun fact: butterflies have four wings! Butterflies drink rather than eat. They like to drink water, liquid from fruit, and nectar (a sugary liquid) from flowers. As soon as the butterfly has rested after coming out of the chrysalis, it will pump blood into the wings in order to get them working and flapping – then they get to fly.  Usually, within a three or four-hour period, the butterfly will master flying.  In the final stage, the adult butterflies are constantly on the lookout to reproduce, and then the whole life cycle starts again!

13.4.20-

The chrysalis stage! Over the past week, the caterpillars have been transforming into a chrysalis. It was very important to wait for the chrysalis to become hard before moving them to ensure they do not get damaged. The chrysalis stage is one of the coolest stages of a butterfly’s life.  As soon as a caterpillar has finished growing and they have reached their full length/weight, they form themselves into a 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 is.  Inside of the chrysalis, the caterpillar is rapidly changing. Now, as most people know, caterpillars are short, stubby and have no wings at all.  Within the chrysalis the old body parts of the caterpillar are undergoing a remarkable transformation, called ‘metamorphosis,’ to become the beautiful parts that make up the butterfly that will emerge. Tissue, limbs and organs of a caterpillar have all been changed by the time the chrysalis is finished and is now ready for the final stage of a butterfly’s life cycle.  

 

How long do you predict it will take for the butterflies to emerge?

Can you produce your own life cycle of a caterpillar and explain the different stages?

What do you think the butterflies will look like? Draw and colour you own butterfly and see if you are correct when they emerge.

Please feel free to send any work you have produced or any questions to our phase email. We love seeing your fantastic work!

27.3.20-

The caterpillars are starting to move to the top of the jar; this means they are nearly ready to turn into a chrysalis. Can you spot the hairs on them? They grow hair to protect themselves from predators. How many legs do you think caterpillars have? Caterpillars shed their skin because it becomes too tight as they grow. A caterpillar might shed its skin four or five times as it grows!  Challenge: Can you design a caterpillar hotel? Either drawn or using natural materials outside. Please share your hotel via the phase email.

24.3.20-

Still image for this video
This time-lapse was filmed over 45 minutes. Can you estimate how long the caterpillars are now? Would you measure them using a metre or a 30cm ruler? Which minibeasts are living in your garden?

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