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Evolution

by amogh on 31/08/2010

Evolution is what has kept many species from disappearing from the planet. Some have evolved in the right way quickly and have managed to share this world with their predators and other threats.

Here is a brilliant example of evolution. What you see is a caterpillar of the butterfly Blue Mormon, its very difficult for caterpillars to survive to become butterflies, given their susceptibility to predators. But this caterpillar in particular has developed different strategies to survive.

The eyes you see are false eyes and helps the caterpillar look like a snake. The face in totality looks similar to a snake, you would think this is enough to keep the predators at bay. But wait until you watch the video below.

This is how the caterpillar behaves when it senses threat, it pops out a ‘Y’ shaped organ that resembles a snake’s tongue. Called Osmeterium looks like a snake’s tongue to prevent a predator attack. That’s not all, this organ emits smelly compounds believed to be pheromones which are highly pungent in nature even to humans.

There are 7 comments in this article:

  1. 31/08/2010Deepa Mohan says:

    Very informative, and great video to illustrate the facts. Thank you.

    [Reply]

  2. 31/08/2010Monish says:

    superb, lovely clarity and great info…

    [Reply]

  3. 31/08/2010Sandeep R says:

    Whoa.. super stuff here. How fast does the caterpillar bring out the osmeterium?

    [Reply]

    amogh Reply:

    Enough time to get descent shot ;). A few seconds to bring out and take it in.

    [Reply]

  4. 31/08/2010Anush says:

    Awesome !

    [Reply]

  5. 1/09/2010Nithin M says:

    Either the caterpillar over millions of years mutated into thousands or phenotypes and somehow THIS one which is a snake-lookalike survived, may be because its feared by most animals/insects.
    Or, this is an fine example of how a human brain matches patterns and draws interesting conclusions!

    [Reply]

  6. 7/10/2010Donegal To Yedakumari Trekking Report « Sadanand's Blog says:

    […] by Amoghavarsha and see the brilliant photographs and video of this amazing caterpillar here: http://amoghavarsha.com/journal/2010/08/31/evolution/ (read about it more http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papilio_polymnestor ) 3> Un named: This is not […]

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