Next message: by way of Elizabeth Howard Journey North: "Challenge Question #16"
March 30, 2001
Challenge Question #16
from Mrs. Dempsey's Second Grade, Charlotte Dunning School, Framingham,
Mrs. Dempsey, the teacher, accidentally read the challenge question
wrong. In so doing, the children came up with some interesting
answers. Here is how we first answered the question What do you suppose
the female monarch's strategy is when she egg loads a plant ?
If a predator eats some eggs, a few would still be left.
Maybe a predator might think it is just a disease on the plant.
Some might die after they are caterpillars and then some would
be left to live.
The mother lays the eggs on the milkweed when the leaves are
little, and when they hatch, the milkweed will be big and they don't
have to worry about having enough to eat.
If there is not much milkweed, the mother may think she can only
pick one plant because the other monarchs might need room for their
When I discovered my error, I asked them the real Challenge Question
16:Why do you think female monarchs avoid laying more than one egg on a
So the larva has enough milkweed to eat.
They want the larva to have more food.
Maybe she puts one egg on a plant so that when the larva emerges it
would not fight with another larva.
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