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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/841

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Popular Science Monthly


��it will select will be the underside of the broadest leaf, to which it will attach itself by means of a sticky, silky substance which it spins out. Here it will hang, head down, with its body curved up in the form of a hook.

���The newly-emerged butterfly. Its body is over-large and its wings much crum- pled but as the wings slowly unfold the body decreases

After about twenty- four hours the body straightens out and begins to twitch and wriggle as if the little creature were in great pain. The head and up{>er portion of the body begin to swell. Finally the skin bursts, revealing the beautifulpupa or shell in which the rest of the transformation is to take place.

The old skin is dropped off and for three hours the pupa hangs like a little jewel bright green in color and ornamented with a circle of golden spots near the top. Perhaps you have spied one of these little milkweed jewels during your rambles; but common as they are, they are so well

��The perfect butterfly. The last hour be- fore it Anally soars away from the milk- weed stalk sees the most rapid change of all

��hidden that they are seldom dis- covered. You may leave your little guest now for from ten to twelve days, for although there is a wonderful change going on inside the shell there will be nothing you can see until about ten hours before the end of the process. Then the shell will begin to change in color from green to brown and will become transparent. You will be able to see the folded wings of the butterfly inside. The time has now come when you must watch closely or you will miss the most interesting part of all. Without a mo- ment's warning the shell bursts and the but- terfly emerges — a creature all body and with small, much- J^ ^^ crumpled wings. The

^■j^ actual time consumed

^^v in the emergence is

f ^^' , I^ss than one minute.

At first sight you may think that something has gone wrong, for the little creature cer- tainly looks deformed and not at all like the beautiful butterflies that we see hovering about the flowers in the fields and gardens. But slowly the wings unfold, and as stead- ily the body grows smaller, for the life forces are being pumped fro'm the body into the wings which are to be the crowning glorv* of the new existence.

While the wings are drying, the little creature timidly tests them, opening and closing them slowly until, gaining courage as the wings grow^ stronger, it soars out into its new life, a new creature gorgeous- ly beautiful and entirely forgetful of its former groveling worm-hood. The miracle has been accomplished under our very eyes and yet we can scarcely credit it.

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