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Please be advised: Butterfly Pavilion will be closing early on Sunday, March 3 at 2:00 p.m. with last admission at 1:15 p.m.

Learn More About the Wonders of Metamorphosis

Life Comes from Life: The Cycle of Growth and Change 

The cycle of birth, growth, and death is universal across all living organisms, but it is particularly fascinating in invertebrates. As they grow, these creatures, including insects and various marine animals, undergo significant transformations, changing their appearance and function through various life stages. 

The Evolutionary Marvel of Metamorphosis 

Invertebrates, present on Earth for hundreds of millions of years, display a remarkable adaptability. This evolutionary journey is underscored by the development of metamorphosis, a survival strategy enabling these creatures to thrive in a range of environments. 

The Ancient Insects: Ametabolous Metamorphosis 

Among insects, the most ancient form of metamorphosis is Ametabolous, involving minimal change. Insects like Silverfish and springtails undergo this process, where the young resemble miniature adults and typically lack wings. 

The Aquatic Connection: Hemimetabolous Metamorphosis 

Insects that exhibit incomplete metamorphosis, Hemimetabolous, often have a close relationship with water. Dragonflies and mayflies, for example, experience a striking transformation from egg to aquatic larva to
flighted adult.

Metamorphosis in Marine Invertebrates 

Beyond insects, marine invertebrates such as jellyfish and sea urchins exhibit fascinating metamorphic stages. Their life cycles include drastic changes from their larval forms to their adult states, demonstrating the diversity of metamorphosis in the invertebrate world.

The Pinnacle of Evolution: Holometabolous Metamorphosis 

In the insect kingdom, the most advanced form of metamorphosis is Holometabolous, seen in butterflies, bees, and beetles. This complete metamorphosis, involving distinct stages of egg, larva, pupa, and adult, allows for varied diets and reduced competition.