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Kirby asked in Science & MathematicsZoology · 1 decade ago

Why did I see a caterpillar literally run into a fire?

This weekend while camping we witnessed a caterpillar as fast as it could run straight into a fire and die. Even a few hot coals landed on it and it when it got close but it just shrugged them off and continued to run straight into the fire. Why would it ever do that?

2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Caterpillars are insect larvae, and therefore do not have compound eyes like fully developed insects. Instead, they have simple eyes known as ocelli, which are really only good for sensing light. Such a visual handicap would make it difficult for the insect to "see" exactly where the fire was.

    Given this, the insect probably mistakenly wandered to the fire in the first place. When the heat began to increase and hot coals landed on it, it sensed the temperature change, perceived it as a threat to its safety, and began to run. Since its lack of visual ability made it difficult to orient itself, it ran into the fire instead of away from it.

    Simply put, this was just a mistake on its part, and no type of "suicide" or anything else that required thought.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    probably sick of this country also

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