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Monday, May 17, 2010

22 Weird and Beautiful Caterpillars

The wonderful world of insects contains some of the most bizarre-looking creatures in existence and caterpillars are not an exception. Actually, acaterpillar is a young butterfly or moth that has just hatched out of its egg. Their look varies from scary to cute, but they always grab my attention when I find one in my garden.
Caterpillars are commonly found feeding on leaves, although some are cannibals, and others prey on caterpillars of other species. They often have been called “eating machines”, and grow very quickly; for instance, a tobacco hornworm will increase its weight ten-thousand-fold in less than twenty days.
Caterpillars are also incredible bodybuilders. They have about 4,000 muscles (compare humans, with 629) and no skeleton to sustain their shape. They are like tiny balloons inflated by their own blood moving through contraction of the muscles in the rear segments pushing the blood forward into the front segments elongating the torso.
While caterpillars may look harmless, its hair has been known to be a cause of human health problems. Sharp barbs on the end of Caterpillar hairs can get lodged in the eyes, and once they enter, they can be difficult to extract, often exacerbating the problem as they migrate across the membrane .This becomes a particular problem in an indoor setting with ventilation systems.
So much for the theory, now let’s move on to our beautiful collection of these alien looking caterpillars pictures.


Vania Moreira said...

Wow, closer they are tooooo hairy and tooo frightening!!! But I liked the blue one, anyway! You know, some of these so little creatures can burn your skin! I was burnt many times when I was a child... so, these pics bring me bad memories!!!

riyan said...

LOL. you are right it happened to me also and the welts itch like crazy.

dani said...

They are stunning! The cute one with the little antennas, tail and white - yellow tufts on its back reminds me of the caterpillar I named 'Fluffy' as a child. Unfortunately, Fluffy gave me a horrible, sore, itchy rash :(

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