Also called the pupa, the chrysalis is the third stage in the life cycle of a butterfly. It is during this stage that the caterpillar transforms into an adult, developing characteristics such as legs and wings.
When a butterfly egg hatches, a ravenous caterpillar emerges and eats as much as it can. When it reaches full size, the caterpillar sticks itself to the underside of a leaf with a small tab of silk and forms a hard layer of skin called a chrysalis.
Inside the chrysalis, the caterpillar seems dormant as it undergoes a process called metamorphosis. Its organs, tissue and limbs take on adult shapes and it grows its wings.
Once the transformation is complete, the chrysalis splits open and the adult butterfly emerges. After a brief rest to allow the wings to expand and harden, the butterfly flies off to begin its adult life.
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