Monarch Mystery Photos
Exploring Form and Function in Nature
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Mystery Photo #1: What Do You See?
Magnified 180 times, this mystery photo shows part of a monarch. The small, intricate structures you see help the monarch survive. Invent descriptive names for the structures. Then use the brainstormed words to write a descriptive paragraph about what might be happening.

Mystery Photo #2: What Do You See?
What new objects and details does this photo reveal?

Silk Pad
The spaghetti-like strands are the silk pad a caterpillar forms before making a chrysalis.

The hook-topped tubular stalks are called crochets. Notice the way they grab the strands of silk in the silk pad.

The tiny post at the top of the chrysalis is called the cremaster. The chrysalis twists and turns as it forms, embedding the hook-topped cremaster firmly into the silk pad. The fragile chrysalis must hang securely from the cremaster for the two weeks it takes the adult butterfly to develop.

Asking Why
When studying nature, try to find the why behind what you see. Why do monarchs have these mysterious objects, the cremaster, crochet and silk pad? Notice how the form of each object reveals clues about the function it performs in the life of a monarch butterfly.