Meaning of Perfect Metamorphosis and Animal Examples

The Meaning of Perfect Metamorphosis and Examples of Animals – The animals that exist on this planet are very numerous or even reach hundreds, ranging from small animals to large animals. The number of animals in the world is called biodiversity.

Every animal in this world will surely breed, so the development of animals will continue to happen. Reproduction in each animal greatly affects the survival of the animal. The reproduction of each animal’s life, starting from the embryo, the process of birth, the process of becoming an adult, breeding, and experiencing death.

Reproduction in animals occurs because of the sexual process between male and female animals. In this process, what is called the fertilization process will occur. Fertilization is the fusion of the nucleus of the sperm cell and the nucleus of the egg cell. Fertilization in animals can be done in two ways, namely internal and external fertilization.

In addition, animals that undergo reproduction cannot be separated from what is called metamorphosis. Reader already know what metamorphosis is? This article will discuss what metamorphosis is, its types, and examples of metamorphosed animals. So happy reading this article, Reader.

Meaning of Metamorphosis

Before discussing further about metamorphosis, it would be good to first know what metamorphosis is. In the Big Indonesian Dictionary (KBBI) metamorphosis is a change in shape or arrangement that undergoes a change in shape (for example from a caterpillar to a butterfly).

Meanwhile, according to language, metamorphosis comes from the Greek language, namely Greek . While based on the word, metamorphosis is divided into three parts, namely the first, “meta” which means “between, after, and around”. Then secondly, “morphe” which means “form” and thirdly, the word “osis” which means “part of”. In short, metamorphosis is a change in shape that occurs in animals during postembryonic development.

When animals are undergoing metamorphosis, some animals experience changes in body shape that are almost identical. However, there are some animals that experience very different body shape changes.

Animals that undergo almost the same shape change, such as cockroaches, cats, goats, and the like. While animals that experience different body shape changes can be seen in butterflies, mosquitoes, frogs, and the like.

Types of Metamorphosis

After discussing the meaning of metamorphosis, it is now time to discuss the types of metamorphosis that occur in animals. Metamorphosis is divided into two types, firstly perfect metamorphosis and secondly, imperfect metamorphosis.

1. Perfect Metamorphosis

A perfect metamorphosis is a metamorphosis that in its development towards adulthood experiences a change in body shape, appearance and different behavior. This different shape change starts from the egg phase. After the egg phase has been passed, the next phase is the larval phase. After the larval phase will produce the pupa phase. The last phase of complete metamorphosis is the imago or adult phase.

Below will be explained the stages that occur in perfect metamorphosis.

a. Egg phase

The egg phase is the first phase of reproduction in animals. In this phase, the eggs produced by the female come from the results of fertilization that occurs in male animals. Egg cells that meet sperm cells will result in cleavage. In this splitting process, the time required varies depending on the type of animal.

From the results of this cleavage will produce quite a lot of eggs. The eggs are then laid by the female in her habitat. For example butterflies, these animals will lay their eggs on the surface of leaves. While mosquitoes will lay their eggs on the surface of calm water.

Animal parents lay their eggs in accordance with their habitat because after experiencing a change in appearance, they can immediately find food. Young animals that easily find food experience very rapid growth.

b. Larval phase

After passing through the egg phase, the next stage that occurs in complete metamorphosis is the larval phase. This larval phase is the phase in which young animals have started to be active in search of food. The food that is obtained is very easy because the parent has already prepared if the child grows there is no need to bother to find food

In other words, the mother of each animal is very kind because she does not want her child to have difficulty finding food. In this larval phase, some animals have an external skeleton (exoskeleton). An animal’s exoskeleton can be interpreted as an insect or other animal that undergoes skin changes or ecdysis.

The skin changes that occur in the larvae will result in the larvae experiencing a change in size to become larger. This skin change can occur several times depending on the type of animal. In addition, this skin change will stop when the larvae have started to stop eating and prepare themselves to go to the next phase.

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c. Pupa phase

The pupa phase can be said to be a transitional phase because of the change in form from a larva to a larger animal form. A bigger physical change makes the animal have an outer skeleton that can protect the body and the outer skeleton is called a cocoon. Even though it is protected by a cocoon, the pupa’s body will still carry out the formation of metabolism and carry out the formation of animals into adult animals.

At the beginning of becoming a pupa, the animal already stores food reserves when it becomes a larva. Although in the larval phase food reserves are stored, but to survive the pupa needs food intake. Therefore, in the pupa phase, almost every animal that is perfectly metamorphosed will begin to be active again in search of food.

In the pupa phase, the time required varies greatly depending on the type of animal and the length of time in this process. In the pupa process, the animal will prepare itself to go to the adult phase or the imago phase.

d. Imago phase

At the specified time, the pupa will come out of its shell. The pupa that comes out of its shell will have a new animal form and indicates that the animal that has undergone complete metamorphosis has grown into an adult. In this phase, the animal has to get used to facing other predators.

In the imago phase, the animal already has a perfect shape, so that when looking for food and looking for habitat is no longer the same as in the larval phase. In addition, during this phase, animals will perform the reproduction phase or perform mating between male and female animals.

Thus, the imago phase can be said to be the phase of an animal becoming an adult and needing to marry so that offspring will continue to exist or the perfect metamorphosis cycle will repeat itself.

2. Imperfect Metamorphosis 

Imperfect metamorphosis is a metamorphosis that in the development towards adulthood experiences changes in body shape, appearance and behavior that are almost the same or not very different.

If in perfect metamorphosis there are different stages, it is different with imperfect metamorphosis which only passes through almost the same stages. The stages start from the animal laying eggs, then becoming a nymph, then this nymph will grow into an adult (imago). Incomplete metamorphosis is known as hemimetabola.

Below will be explained the stages that occur in incomplete metamorphosis.

a. Egg phase 

This egg phase is the same phase as animals with perfect metamorphosis. Eggs produced from mating between male and female animals will be placed in their original habitat. Not only are they placed in their original habitat, but the parent will ensure whether the eggs are safe from predatory attacks or not. If it is not safe from predatory attacks, then the parent will look for a new place.

This egg phase consists of embryos that are protected by the shelled egg structure. The time required for this egg phase is very diverse and depends on the type of animal and the time it takes to change into a nymph.

b. Nymph phase

The second phase of incomplete metamorphosis is the nymphal phase. This nymph phase is different from the larval phase which is in complete metamorphosis. The larval phase of a young animal will be different from that of an adult animal. Meanwhile, the nymph phase of the young animal will be the same as the adult animal, only the size is different.

The size of young animals during incomplete metamorphosis is smaller, then when they reach adult size, the size of the animal will increase. Although the size is different, but its existence does not change. Things that change in incompletely metamorphosed animals are only parts of the body and reproductive organs.

The change in body size in nymphs during adulthood goes through what is called skin change or ecdysis. Thus, the nymph phase is almost the same as the larval phase (perfect metamorphosis) except that it does not undergo a very different physical change.

c. Imago phase

The imago phase indicates that animals with incomplete metamorphosis have passed the nymph phase. If you look carefully, then the body or being (seen from the outside) from the nymph phase to the imago only undergoes a change in body size.

The imago phase is the adult phase that occurs in animals with complete and incomplete metamorphosis. In the imago phase, all body organs and reproductive organs have matured. Reproductive organs that have matured, animals can reproduce and repeat the cycle of imperfect metamorphosis.

So, it can be said that animals with perfect metamorphosis will experience a very different physical change (outer appearance) from young age to adulthood. While animals with incomplete metamorphosis, body changes (seen from the outside) from young age to adulthood, the difference is not so visible.

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Examples of Animals with Perfect Metamorphosis

In order to make it easier to understand perfect metamorphosis, examples of animals that undergo perfect metamorphosis will be explained below.

1. Butterflies

Who is not familiar with butterflies. We often find these animals on flowers that have nectar. Butterflies often land on flowers because flower nectar is the main food of butterflies.

Butterflies become animals that belong to perfect metamorphosis because the changes in existence from young animals to adults are very different. For more clarity, let’s look at the picture below.

Based on the picture above, the metamorphosis of a butterfly starts from the egg that comes from the mating of a male butterfly with a female butterfly. Later, the eggs turn into caterpillars that we usually find on leaves. Then, the caterpillar turns into a cocoon or pupa with a shell to protect the body. After some time, the cocoon will turn into a young butterfly and a few days later will turn into an adult butterfly.

2. Mosquitoes

The next example of an animal that undergoes complete metamorphosis is a mosquito. We often find these animals at night and sometimes mosquitoes disturb someone’s sleep, either because of their sound or because of their bite.

Although mosquitoes love to fly, the mother mosquito will lay her eggs on the surface of calm water. Therefore, we should diligently clean the bathtub so that there are no mosquito eggs.

Based on the picture above, eggs become the initial phase of complete metamorphosis in mosquitoes. After the egg hatches it will turn into a larva. This larva will adapt to find food so that it can extend its life to the pupa phase. After the larval phase is over, the next is the pupa phase. The last phase of metamorphosis in mosquitoes is the mosquito becoming an adult.

3. Frog

The rainy season is a season that frogs like very much. This is because in this season a lot of water comes down to the surface, so the frogs will be free to jump around.

Frogs belong to the category of animals that undergo complete metamorphosis. This can be seen in the shape of the tadpole which is very different from the shape of the frog when it is an adult. That difference is what causes the frog to become a perfectly metamorphosed animal.

Based on the picture above, the egg becomes the initial phase of the complete metamorphosis of the frog. Then continue with the egg that turns into a legless tadpole. After developing, tadpoles have two legs. The tadpole’s legs, which are increasing in number, are accompanied by the tadpole’s body which also undergoes changes, until it becomes a young frog. Young frogs develop into adult frogs that then reproduce and produce frog eggs.


Examples of Imperfect Metamorphosis Animals

After discussing, examples of animals with perfect metamorphosis, then what will be discussed next are examples of animals with imperfect metamorphosis.

1. Locust

Grasshoppers become part of the animal that metamorphoses incompletely because the change from nymph to adult grasshopper does not undergo a significant physical change. The difference between young grasshoppers and adult grasshoppers is only limited to body size.

From the picture above, grasshoppers are incompletely metamorphosed, grasshoppers start from eggs that come from the parent or female grasshopper. After the eggs hatch, they turn into nymphs or young grasshoppers. Each time a young grasshopper develops into an adult, there is no significant physical change except for the size of the grasshopper’s body.

2. Cockroaches

Cockroaches belong to the type of animals that like to live in humid places, such as bathrooms. Although this animal is small, it can fly. In fact, for some people, this animal is very scary especially when flying, are you one of them?

Cockroaches become animals that metamorphose imperfectly because their body shape from youth to adulthood only changes in size. In other words, there is no change from a young cockroach to an adult.

From the picture above, the cockroach’s incomplete metamorphosis starts from the egg. Then turn into a nymph or a young cockroach. After the young cockroach develops, it will become an adult cockroach that has the same body as the young cockroach.

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Metamorphosis is part of the process of growth or development of animals. The difference between perfect metamorphosis and imperfect metamorphosis lies in the change in the animal’s appearance. If an animal undergoes a significant physical change, then the animal enters a complete metamorphosis. While animals that do not experience significant changes, then those animals are included in animals with incomplete metamorphosis.