Much has been written lately about the plight of the monarch, the most iconic butterfly in North America that may soon be headed for the endangered species list. The use of herbicides in the U.S. has completely decimated milkweed plants, the insect’s primary food source, while illegal logging is quickly destroying the monarch’s wintering habitat in Mexico. Over 90% of the butterfly’s population has vanished over the last 25 years.
Luckily there’s a bit of hope. The U.S. government recently dedicated millions of dollars to foster the growth of milkweed, while organizations like monarch Watch offers free milkweed for restoration projects while teaching people how to raise and release butterflies at home. We hatched about 20 butterflies at our house this summer here in Chicago, while some people are a bit more obsessed, raising hundreds of them in a season.
This amazing HD timelapse from Front Yard Video shows the full metamorphosis of a monarch from a caterpillar to butterfly. What you see here is infuriatingly difficult to witness in person because after weeks of waiting the transformation to and from a chrysalis takes just a few minutes. (via The Kid Should See This)