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The moment a monarch hatches from its egg it begins to eat. The first thing it eats is its very own shell!
Monarchs spend the larval stage of their lives eating — and growing. In fact, the typical monarch increases in mass by 2,000 times while it's a caterpillar. This amazing change takes place in only about 9-14 days.
Can you find the two larvae in the picture to the right? They are shown at the beginning and end stages of growth. Imagine gaining weight the way monarch larvae do!
National Sciece Education Standards