The Amazing Monarch

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A friend who is a 1st grade school teacher was collecting monarch butterfly caterpillars to show her class and she was very generous in giving me a couple to video for my blog.  They were high energy, eating lots of the milkweed (chemicals in the milkweed are toxic to most animals and make the caterpillars toxic to most predators).  Then the caterpillar crawled under a leaf and went completely still for a couple of hours (double click on any pic for a larger view):

Then it created a white silk button at the tip of its tail, and hung from it upside down.  It would hang like this for upwards to 12 hours!

The caterpillar then began to contract and expand, flexing its muscles up and down its body, its color turning greener and greener. It looked like it was doing crunches… for over an hour!  How it had the energy to keep flexing is beyond me.  Finally from the head it started to turn green.  This green capsule flowed totally over its body until it had encased itself in this green, hard chrysalis.  The chrysalis is a work of art!  The video shows this incredible transformation:

I will try to get some video of the emerging butterfly in 10 days, stay tuned!

About John Body

I live in Western Massachusetts, in the incredibly beautiful Connecticut River Valley. I've been hiking, kayaking, and tracking wildlife throughout the Valley with lots of photos and videos that people may like to see. Whenever I travel I also take my cameras just in case I see great scenery or wildlife. My passion is wildlife conservation so I try to attend wildlife workshops and land preservation events (Habitat, Habitat, Habitat!). When I get a chance, I videotape the experts, they're just so knowledgeable and inspiring. I hope you enjoy my posts.
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