A Brand New Skin.

As my self-explanatory username suggests, I have a unconditional and everlasting obsession with entomology. A by product of this is that I enjoy the presence of various Invertebrates. Now, there are many aspects of their unique and special lives that I’m intrigued by, but most of all are the processes of growth. In it’s simplest form, moulting of the skin and in a far more complex form, metamorphosis. Just today my very perculiar Ghost Mantis (Phyllocrania paradoxa) shed it’s skin and emerged an adult female. Looking at the change that can occur in such a short time reflects a lot about my interpersonal opinion on ageing. It’s pretty unnerving to think with in a few hours an animal that was a juvenile, that didn’t do more that eat and look pretty, has been forced into adulthood. Forced into fertility, the innate responsibility to care for her precious ootheca, her dear offspring. I for one am jealous. She has emerged from her teenage era a new being, a being already prepared to do as much as she can for the greater good of her species. Now the question I want to ask you is, If a mere insect can simply shed its way into adulthood in a matter of hours and know exactly what to do with his or her life, why can’t humans? We’re described as the most intelligent species on this planet, but we spend many years deciding what we want to do with our lives but rarely focus on what we need to do.

Then we have the most dramatic change in nature, metamorphosis. The complete change on a cellular level from the well-fed caterpillar to a glorious Lepidoptera, an Atlas moth, a Blue Morpho, the variety is incomprehensible. Again, this begs the question of, how can our society (and species) relate and adapt like this? Is it just a metaphor a psychiatrist uses to boost your self esteem. Or, can we really integrate that idea into our lives. Actually appreciate the way a much simpler organisms ability to completely change its entire genetic make up to work more effectively in its environment. I know i’m being slightly hypocritical here because I have just used metamorphosis as a metaphor in some oxymoronic convoluted word play. But what I want to you to take away from this annoyingly rant-esk internal monologue is; if an insect can change its life completely with out any form of anxiety or fear, why can’t you and is being the most intelligent species on this planet really the blessing everyone makes it out to be?



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