Contrary to popular belief, a chrysalis is not a pouch or a sac with a caterpillar inside. It’s actually the caterpillar’s own body!
During metamorphosis, the former caterpillar releases digestive juices that rip apart and dissolve cells in its muscles, digestive system, and other organs.
Then, special groups of cells called imaginal discs divide over and over again, forming wings, eyes, and adult structures.
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Following is a transcript of the video.

What would you do for the power to fly? How about shedding your skin and dissolving your own muscles? Now, believe it or not, that gruesome process is how caterpillars earn their wings. Here’s what you might not know about what’s inside a caterpillar’s “cocoon.”

Contrary to popular belief, this is not a cocoon. Only certain moths build cocoons, which are like a silky sleeping bag that covers the insect. This, on the other hand, is what’s called a chrysalis. It’s not a sack or a pouch; it’s actually the caterpillar’s own body.

When it’s time for the transformation to begin, the caterpillar’s body ramps up production of a hormone called ecdysone, and that causes it to cast off its outer coating, sort of like how a snake sheds its skin. And underneath is a hard shell similar to the exoskeleton of a beetle.

After that, life for the little caterpillar gets oozy. First, it releases enzymes called caspases. These rip apart and dissolve cells in its muscles, digestive system, and other organs. But the enzymes don’t quite liquefy all of the caterpillar. They leave key structures intact, like breathing tubes. At the same time, specialized cells called imaginal discs start waking up.

Before the chrysalis stage, these discs were kept dormant by a series of hormones in the caterpillar’s body. But once the transformation begins, those …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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