Metamorphosis

What role do you think metamorphosis has played in the success of many groups of protostomes? What has this life history pattern allowed them to do?

There are two different types of metamorphosis. Hemimetabolous metamorphosis is the transition from a juvenile stage to an adult stage. Juveniles look and behave in a similar way to adults, but are smaller and sexually immature. Holometabolous metamorphosis is the transition from a larval stage to an adult stage. Larvae are very different from adults. They can vary in the way they look, where they live and what they eat.

Holometabolous metamorphosis is more common in insects because it offers many advantages. The differences between larval and adult stages reduce the competition for resources. They also may have different functions at each stage. While larvae are relatively sessile and focus on feeding, adults may function only to reproduce. This specialization leads to greater efficiency and population fitness.

 

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