Media Review: Metamorphosis

MetamorphosisMetamorphosis is a video (available in DVD and Blu-ray formats) by Illustra Media about the amazing biological transformation process from caterpillar to butterfly. The main feature is a little over an hour long and there is a good amount of bonus material. The main feature is so packed with information, that this review is only going to scratch the surface. I am not a biologist, so my critique of the presented biological information will be limited. That said, I cannot imagine that being further educated in such a discipline would make the information presented any less astonishing.

Even though most of us will be unable to fully appreciate the biology involved, the filming and production, the astounding beauty of the subject matter – right down to the soundtrack – is incredible. This is a film the whole family can enjoy. My first viewing was with our family and even our toddler enjoyed it. As for the educational content, initially one might falsely assume it is going to be a bit overblown and ‘cheesy’ given some of the opening statements made by the scientists being interviewed… but, they then backup those claims in a big way. This film should push anyone to respond similarly. Wow, just WOW!… might be a good reaction.

I will not attempt a point by point or theme by theme review of this material presented. Briefly, the film highlights the amazing capabilities of the butterfly and follows the metamorphosis process. Instead, I’ll give you a summary of a few of the points which struck me as most important and leave you with a strong recommendation to see the film.

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Butterflies are amazingly equipped creatures. One of the first points the film makes is that each species of butterfly lays eggs on a particular species of plant. They can detect the host plant by scent from miles away. They then tell visually by leaf-shape to identify the plant among the other flora. Finally, they taste to be certain. This is important, for if the eggs end up on the wrong species of plant, the caterpillars will die. This is but one brief aspect of their vast ability. The most amazing aspect of butterflies, however, might be something over which they have no control; the metamorphosis transformation from caterpillar to butterfly…


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