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© Contributed by Leanne Guenther
Most animals including fish, mammals, reptiles and birds have very simple life cycles:
These animals have three stages -- before birth, young and adult. The young are typically similar to the parent, just smaller. The young slowly "grow" to become adults.
Amphibians, like frogs and newts, have a slightly more complicated life cycle. They undergo a metamorphosis (a big change):
These insects have four stages in their life cycle:
Animals that go through a complete metamorphosis are what my daughter Kaitlyn calls "Wow!" animals -- they go to bed looking one way and wake up a completely different creature. Wow!
About 10% of insects go through an incomplete metamorphosis. They do not have a pupal form -- these include dragonflies, grasshoppers and cockroaches.
These insects have three stages in their life cycle:
|(egg/larva/pupa/adult)||Butterfly||with words||or||no words|
|Incomplete Metamorphosis||(egg/nymph/adult)||Dragonfly||with words||or||no words|
|Metamorphosis||(egg/tadpole/froglet/adult)||Frog||with words||or||no words|
|Arthropod Life Cycle||(egg/spiderling/adult)||Spider||with words||or||no words|
|Bird Life Cycle||(egg/chick/adult)||Penguin||with words||or||no words|
|Fish Life Cycle||(birth/pup/adult)||Great White Shark||with words||or||no words|
|Mammal Life Cycle||(birth/pup/adult)||Brown Bat||with words||or||no words|
|Reptile Life Cycle||(egg/snakelet/adult)||Snake||no words|