Thursday, October 18, 2012

thankful for caterpillars thursday

the other day, my son found a caterpillar in the parking lot after school.   of course, we brought it home.   after a few pictures and everyone having a turn letting the little guy explore, we made him a nice new home.   some pear leaves and small branch in a clear container.   he immediately cocooned up in webbing and leaves.   now, we are just watching him to see when he will hatch and what he will look like.

what does this have to do with thankful thursday?   today i am grateful for caterpillars.    they are amazing little creatures that turn into another amazing creature.   gotta love that!

ok, they eat the leaves off of things, but everyone has to eat.   something has to feed the birds.   something has to grow into butterflies that pollinate the flowers.   ok, it'as a moth not a butterfly since it is in a web like cocoon and not a chrysalis, still cool, needed, and pretty. 

we looked it up and found that it is a pale tussock moth.   it isn't supposed to hatch until may.   hmmm. . . we'll have to keep him safe until then.   can't wait to see him and let him go.   i love the opportunity to let my kids watch the metamorphosis.   caterpillars are so much fun to watch and study.   they are also fun to make into crafts.   not the live ones but ya know, make models, pictures of them.   

if your not a nature lover like i am, you might appreciate a few other things that caterpillars do.   

obviously, caterpillars make silk.   well, not all do but you get what i'm saying.   turns out that silk isn't just for the fashionable.   it is used in medical sutures, implants and such, but now it's being experimented with to keep vaccines cold in hot places.   important if you live in a hot third world country.   how awesome is that ?

there is a robot that moves like a caterpillar.   that's worth something.

there is the very hungry caterpillar, that's a classic!

scientists are studying a caterpillar virus that actually controls the caterpillar into spreading the virus farther.   sounds creepy, but scientists are unraveling the dna in the virus.   crazy stuff.   discover magazine

this is a cool story about self medicating caterpillars.   why do you care?   the ways that animals treat themselves becomes the way we treat our conditions in the future.   and knowledge is power.

there are other scientists doing science-y things with caterpillars as well.   caterpillars have pretty short lives, are in abundance and are simple enough to mess with their genes.   that makes them easy to study in a life time and simple enough creatures that they can show the effects easily.  

now, if you live in certain parts of africa, japan or new guinea, (just to name a few), you might enjoy eating caterpillars.   i actually found some recipes on line . . .i don't think i'll try them though.

caterpillars are neat-o frito.   i'm grateful for them.   that's enough. . .wait, one more . .without caterpillars we wouldn't have the inchworm song.   hello, love the inchworm song!

ok, now i'm done.   enjoy caterpillars today!