Animal Kingdom

The shiny cocoons of the orange-spotted tiger clearwing butterfly look like beautiful gold jewels.

No, these golden beauties are not fine jewelry or decorative trinkets. Although they look metallic, they are actually made of chitin, the material that gives some insects their shiny look. And inside these chitin containers, are baby butterflies! The orange-spotted tiger clearwing butterfly (or mechantis polymnia) lives in the jungles from Mexico down to the Amazon forests. They are colorful orange, yellow, and black butterflies, similar to a monarch butterfly, and grow to about 3-inches wide. The shiny golden cocoons they spin contain pupae, the third stage of baby butterfly’s development. Since pupae cannot move and are unable to defend themselves, they often rely on the appearance of their cocoon to deter predators. It is believed that the shiny surface of the orange-spotted tiger clearwing’s…
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miscellaneous

I’m feeling pretty heavy with all this metal in me

I’m feeling pretty heavy with all this metal in me If you sit there and ponder the foods that you eat for a bit, you’ll realize that you eat plants and animals just like other fuzzy creatures in the forest. But did it ever occur to you that you eat metal too? Just like a tool grinder chews through a metal blade, little scientists chew through metal in their food without even really thinking about it. Even more eye opening is the fact that metal in your diet is required to survive. Iron is a part of everyone’s healthy diet and yes, it’s the exact same iron that’s used to make metal nails. Oxygen is transported through your body in your blood and iron is…
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