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Speaking of Eggs
A Conversation With Dr. Lincoln Brower

By Elizabeth Howard

A monarch eats its own shell
as soon as it hatches

What will it do next?

What do you find most interesting about a monarch egg, I asked Dr. Brower while talking on the phone. His response was so fascinating that I asked him to stop. I quickly plugged the phone into a voice recorder so I wouldn't miss a word.

This is how he began:

"Monarchs have to be careful not to lay more than one egg per plant (or leaf) because, when they hatch, the caterpillar will eat its own eggshell. The next thing it will do is wander over and _____."

How do you suppose Dr. Brower completed that sentence?

Before listening to the full conversation, think about this:

  • Why do you think monarchs typically lay one egg on a milkweed plant (or leaf)?
Now listen to Dr. Brower.

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