Last month my friends at Chelsea Green Publishing sent me a fascinating new book by Frank Ryan called The Mystery of Metamorphosis: A Scientific Detective Story. I whipped through it in a couple evenings, rapt. Tonight I finally found time to blog about it.
In the book’s prologue, the author defines metamorphosis as “…the dramatic transformation of one being into another.” The classic example of this phenomenon is a caterpillar’s conversion into a butterfly. The process is threefold. First, the caterpillar builds its cocoon. Then, inside, it liquifies, losing any recognizable form. Finally, from this organic soup, a wholly new creature emerges: the butterfly.