Animals That Change Form Metamorphosis

Animals change as they mature. This process, called metamorphosis, varies from family to family. Metamorphosis meaning changing shape in Greek.

Dragonflies metamorphose incompletely, like frogs. Dragonfly juveniles are aquatic and look different from adults. Dragonfly nymphs feed smaller aquatic animals.


Most frogs and toads have a 3-stage metamorphosis. Most amphibians need water to deposit eggs. Some toads give birth to live young, while others hatch into tiny adults on land.


Moths and butterflies undergo metamorphosis. Moths and butterflies hatch and mature differently. Moths and butterflies hatch as caterpillars. Caterpillars are long, worm-like insects.

Moths & butterflies

Grubs become adult beetles. Some animals need (or hate) grubs. Some beetles are beneficial because they eat pests, whereas others are pests.


Mantids metamorphose partially. These insects have long bodies, large eyes, and specialised front legs. They're nicknamed praying mantids because of how they hold their legs.


Lobsters aren't usually thought of as metamorphosing animals. Planktonic larvae form near the ocean's surface. Larvae don't resemble adult insects. They swim and bob, eating plankton.


Incomplete metamorphosis in cockroaches. Many women have oothecas. Distinct cockroach species have different shaped young. Some species don't grow full wings or are unisexual.


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