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Life Cycles
Goal: To understand life cycles, with examples of butterflies and frogs
Grade Level: 3-5
Author: JungleWalk

A life cycle is the growth order and the different stages attained in animal development until it becomes an adult. Some animals have many more growth stages compared to other animals. A butterfly has four main growth stage while a frog has three main growth stages. At the end of the process, the adult that emerges looks like its parents, just like we humans do.

Life Cycle of a Butterfly

Butterflies have four main stages in their life cycles, and they are in the following order:

  • Egg stage – First an adult butterfly lays oval eggs on specific kinds of leaves. Video of butterfly laying eggs on a leaf.
  • Caterpillar stage – After the butterfly lays eggs, little caterpillars emerge from them. They eat a lot and grow big on the host plant.
    Watch a video of caterpillars munching on leaves
  • Chrysalis (Cocoon) Stage – The caterpillars shed their skins (this process is called molting) a few times, and finally grow a hard covering and lie inactive. This is the cocoon or chrysalis stage.
  • Adult Stage - Finally from the cocoon, emerges a fully grown butterfly, that resembles its parents. Here's a video of an adult butterfly emerging from a cocoon
    Here's another emerging butterfly

View Slide Show

Life Cycle of Frogs and Toads
Frogs and Toads have three main stages in their life cycle:

View Slide Show

Monte Verde Toad

Netrikon Designs, Inc., 2002-5