Animal Life Cycle Report

1481 words - 6 pages

The ladybug life cycle is a 4-stage process called complete metamorphosis. It begins as an egg. Female ladybugs lay their eggs in clusters or lines of 10-15 on the underside of leaves, and can lay up to 2,000 eggs in her lifetime. This placement of laid eggs is to protect the eggs from being eaten by predators as well as weather. Ladybug eggs look like tiny yellow jelly beans. After about 4 days, the eggs hatch and the larva will come out and look for tiny mites or aphids to eat, which hopefully is close by if the mother ladybug laid her eggs in a good spot close to food. If they are unable to find food, they will feed on any infertile ladybug eggs from the cluster of eggs. The young larvae look sort of like tiny alligators—with long bodies and exoskeletons and bumpy skin. After a few days of lots of eating during its first instar, the larvae begin to molt (shed their skin) because they have grown too large for their cuticles. After molting, the larva is in its second instar. Usually ladybugs go through four instars (larval stages) before they begin to pupate. When it is ready to pupate, in which it begins resembling a shrimp, the ladybug attaches its tail to a leaf or other surface. During the 3-12 day time span in spends attached to the leaf, its body is undergoing metamorphosis. Special cells called histoblasts direct this process, breaking down the larva’s body and changing it to an adult ladybug. When metamorphosis is complete, the larva’s skin will break open and the new adult will emerge. They do not look like normal ladybugs, however. For a while, they have a soft exoskeleton which makes them vulnerable to predators, but after a few days that will harden. Their exoskeleton is pale and is a yellow/pink color at first, until the dark red pigment appears during the same time the shell hardens.
The penguin life cycle starts off as an egg. After a male and female penguin choose one mate for the rest of their lifetimes, they mate and after a few weeks the female lays 1 or 2 eggs. After the eggs are laid, the female transfers the egg to their male mate for them to put in between their feet and incubate it. For two months, the males incubate the egg and fast from food while their female mates are out hunting for food. When the female returns, the female takes the egg back and continues to incubate it while the male goes out to go eat. Soon, the eggs start to hatch in the summertime. It takes about 3 days for the eggs to hatch and as soon as the baby penguin comes out, it starts calling so that its parents start to recognize its voice. When the penguin is first hatched, it is born with feathers that are not waterproof, which requires the penguin to stay on land until its feathers become waterproof. Shortly after, the females return from their hunt and regurgitate their food to feed the babies. During this time, the males go off and hunt for food and return with food for the baby, while the females go hunting again. This process repeats several...

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