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Comprehension STOP Use your dictionary to find out the meaning of the bold words below. The Life-cycle of a Butterfly


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Definition: A butterfly is an insect. Stage 1 – the egg


A butterfly starts its life as an egg. The female butterfly lays a cluster of eggs on leaves or stems of plants. Inside these tiny eggs, caterpillars grow. The eggs can be different shapes and textures. They can be oval, round or cylindrical, and bumpy, smooth, or wrinkled. The time it takes for the eggs to hatch changes with different species, some will hatch within a few weeks, others will only hatch once the weather is warm enough.


Stage 3 – the pupa


Once fully grown, the caterpillar makes a pupa (or chrysalis). This covers the caterpillar and keeps it hidden. It also protects it from predators and extreme weather conditions. Inside the pupa the caterpillar starts to change into a butterfly (metamorphosis). This stage may last a few weeks or even months.


Stage 2 – the caterpillar


Once ready, the caterpillar (larva) hatches from its egg. It starts to eat immediately. First it eats the leaf it was born on and then continues to munch all the leaves around it. It begins to grow really quickly. As it grows, the caterpillar gets too big for its skin. It sheds its skin to make room for its bigger body. When the old skin comes off there is a new larger skin underneath.


Stage 4 – the butterfly


Once the butterfly is ready to emerge, the case around the pupa splits open. At first, the wings are wet, soft and wrinkled against its body. The butterfly is also tired. It rests and waits for its wings to dry. While resting, it pumps blood into its wings to make them strong. After some practice, the butterfly takes to the air in search of flowers to feed on and other butterflies to mate with. The cycle is complete – and ready to start all over again!


Summary: A caterpillar transforms into a butterfly. 74


Unit 13 | Explanatory Text 1


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