Ecdysis: When Growing Up is More than Skin Deep

22 August 2015

Our sibling site, the Ark in Space, has a feature today about Ecdysis.  No, it’s not the latest strangely named Hollywood science fiction blockbuster, it’s something that many invertebrates go through.  Taken from the ancient Greek the word means, literally, to strip off.  It leaves behind an exuviae (often spelled with the final e omitted) which is the remains of the exoskeleton which has been shed, often with related structures still attached. For some invertebrates it can be a regular occurrence to facilitate growth.  For others it can be part of a series of instars which culminate in the emergence of the finished, adult form.

It is a fascinating process where beauty can be found in the grotesque. For these invertebrates, the process of growing up is far more than simply skin deep. Catch the whole feature over on Ark in Space.



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