Mission Statement

Bearing Witness to Local Natural History-- from the wildness of Indiana

Friday, September 7, 2012

CT Scans & Mysteries Inside Butterfly Chrysalides

If you love butterflies . . . If you marvel at them and stand in awe at the mysteries of their metamorphosis . . . then read on and go to the link I have posted below.

Monarch Butterfly                           ©Joni L. James

Richard Stringer, a biologist from Pennsylvania was marveling at the transformation of a Monarch butterfly within the chrysalis. when he decided to see if he could gather images with X-rays, MRIs and X-ray microtomography.

Monarch Chrysalis                     ©Joni L. James

From the imaging & other nanotechnology that has been done on Monarch butterfly chrysalides, it was discovered that 

  • Some of the butterfly organs have already formed by the time the caterpillar has completed the chrysalis.
  • The butterfly's brain was visible from day one. 
  • Before the caterpillar changes, the cellular structure precursors to different organs were evident.
  • The caterpillar's (larva) head disappears, but the eye tissue remains to become the butterfly's eyes.
  • The flight muscle and reproductive tissue mature during the roughly 10-day metamorphosis.
  • The gold spots on the outside of a chrysalis are actually ports of entry for oxygen.
  • Tracheal tubes inside the chrysalis bathes each cell of the insect with oxygen as the organs develop.   
  •  The butterfly has a heart which is actually a tube that extends the length of the butterfly and has six or seven pumps along it to collect, not blood, but waste.

Richard Stringer persuaded an Allentown company, Micro Photonics Inc., which uses CT scans (computerized axial tomography) to inspect the quality of paint chips, to do scans of chrysalides. They have produced some of the most revealing and amazing images inside the chrysalis.
You must go to the link, read the article by Ad Crable, and view these wonderful images: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/717720_Local-scientist-unravels-mysteries-inside-a-butterfly-chrysalis.html#ixzz25n4SxhSU

Bearing witness to the beauty of the earth and your local wildness.



Mama Hen said...

Amazing. Thanks for sharing.

Joni James said...

It is amazing! For me it is mind-boggling how much wonder, awe, and beauty there is in Nature. I am so grateful to be a part of it.
Thanks for reading my blog! Encourage others to read--my goal is to educate & spread awareness.

Deb Crecelius said...

Very cool; lots of information on the linked site.