School of Life Sciences | Ask A Biologist

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Manduca Caterpillar Growth Experiment

By Dr. Biology

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  • Manduca: a large moth. It is commonly used in scientific experiments because it is easy to take care of and grows quickly.
  • Organism: a living thing that can be small like bacteria or large like an elephant.

Global climate change is something that you have probably heard about. The temperature on Earth is always changing - it changes daily, seasonally, and over longer time scales, and it impacts not only the weather on Earth, but the climate as well.

Dr. Biology thinkingScientists want to know how these changes are going to affect life on earth. How will organisms and communities respond to these changes? Will changes in temperature cause these animals to shrink or get larger and even become GIANTS?

To study how temperature can affect how an animal grows, Dr. Biology has teamed up with the scientists in the laboratory of Dr.’s Jon Harrison and John VandenBrooks. Together, they started an experiment to see how warm and cool environments affect the growth of the Manduca caterpillar. In the end, you may find that some of these Manduca become GIANTS. Think you know which ones they are? Explore what the scientists found in their lab, or do it yourself! Click now to Enter the Lab.


What's a manduca?Enter the Labfor teachers
BackstoryEnter the LabFor Teachers

 

To learn more about different kinds of insects, visit Big, BIG Bugs, True Bugs and Metamorphosis, Nature's Ultimate Transformers.


This section of Ask A Biologist was funded by NSF Grant Award number 0746352. Credits

Manduca Caterpillar

Manduca Caterpillar

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Manduca Caterpillar

Manduca Caterpillar

Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.