What is metamorphosis? Give examples.

AcademicBiologyNCERTClass 8

Metamorphosis is a biological process by which animals such as insects, amphibians, and aquatic animals undergo physical development after birth or hatching. It involves rapid and abrupt changes in the body structure caused by cell growth and differentiation, maturation of enzymes and blood cells, and remodeling of the nervous and digestive systems.

The main advantage of the metamorphosis process is that it avoids food competition between larval insects and adult insects as they both consume different types of food and belong to different ecological niches.

During metamorphosis, parental protection can occur effectively, and the mobility of the insect is possible throughout its life cycle.

Complete metamorphosis is found in beetles, butterflies, moths, flies, and wasps. Their life-cycle consists of four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The larva is very different from the adult. It lacks wings, and its shape and behavior are more adapted to growth and development than reproduction.

During the sedentary, nonfeeding pupal stage, the pup transforms into an adult. The larva goes through a transition during which the wings emerge externally, larval organs and tissues are broken down, and adult structures grow. Some beetles, flies, and other insects undergo hyper metamorphosis, a type of full metamorphosis marked by a sequence of larval phases.

Updated on 10-Oct-2022 12:46:36