Most caterpillars move slowly. If they have to run away from their predators,
the most effective way is to drop onto the ground. However, most caterpillars,
beside just dropping, they evolved different ways to enhance their way of
Caterpillar that Bungee-Jumps
find that for the Looper caterpillars that live on trees, they use a very smart
way to escape from predators. Like the Looper in above photos, when disturbed,
it drop to the ground and disappear form predator's eye-sight. When we check
carefully, instead of just doing a simple jump, the Looper made a Bungee Jump.
It jumped with a safety line, the silk, attached to its body. After jumping, it
was hanging in the mid-air. After a minute or so, it climbed via the silk back
to the same place easily.
is a lot of advantages on this Bungee-Jump. If the caterpillar just drop to the
ground, the ground is sure not a safe place for the caterpillar. Also it is
very hard for the caterpillar to climb back up to the tree. The worst is, if it
drop to the ground, the predator may follow and find it.
time when you see a Looper, try to induce a Bungee Jump. This is fun to watch.
that drops and curves
some other caterpillars, such as the one in the above pictures, they are not
living on a tree. They live on grass. The Bungee Jump escape methods may not be
practical. Instead, this caterpillar drop to the ground and curve its body into
a round shape.
curved caterpillar looked completely different so the predator may not
recognize it on the ground. Later when the danger has gone, it is not too
difficult for the caterpillar to climb back onto the grass.
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