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Have you ever wondered how this transformation takes place?  The caterpillar makes his cocoon (or chrysalis) and out pops the butterfly – pretty simple, right?  Simple – until you realize that nearly every single organ in the caterpillar body is destroyed and then remade into a beautiful butterfly.  Eat leaves? Now change your diet to drinking nectar.  Those tiny suction-cupped feet?  Forget those – now you can fly with wings that make the whole world envious of your beauty. 

Metamorphosis provides a window into the transformation of a caterpillar to a butterfly.  Using scanning electron microscopy and magnetic resonance images this feature provides some amazing details of the transformation within the cocoon.  These complex details are explained in a very clear manner for the average 12 year old as well as the science enthusiast.

The intricacies of butterflies are also explored, allowing us to see the detail of a butterfly wing, and the complexity of their eyes. 

Then came the part my children were fascinated by – the migration of the Monarch butterflies.  Beautiful pictures of the migrating butterflies, and cool facts about the mystery of this phenomenon are presented.  The yearly ~2500 mile migration is accomplished by butterflies that have never made this trip before, yet with their tiny brain they migrate to the same locations each year.

Every aspect of the butterfly’s life cycle is a conundrum for the evolutionist.  How can simple mutations lead to such a complex transformation?  There is insightful discussion on the implausibility of evolution to account for the metamorphosis of caterpillar to butterfly.  The great question and answer section in the bonus features is worthwhile and should not be overlooked.

This video is ideally suited for children aged 12 and up and provides some excellent discussion topics.  Younger ones will enjoy the impressive scenes and the incredible beauty of butterflies portrayed in this video but will get lost in the actual details of the metamorphosis. 

I would definitely recommend this video for all nature lovers; especially for those who have always wondered exactly how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly.

Metamorphosis: the beauty and design of butterflies. Illustra Media. DVD. 64 minutes

Catherine and Anthony Neumann and family
January 2012

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