What happens inside a chrysalis?
14 March 2013
How the simple breathing tubes of a caterpillar become the intricate respiratory system of a butterfly is captured in footage featured in the BBC Four documentary Metamorphosis: The Science of Change this week. The footage was assembled by a team of scientists including Professor Kate Robson Brown, an archaeologist from the University of Bristol.
The researchers used micro-CT scans to look inside a chrysalis during the process of metamorphosis. This 3D imaging technology is used by archaeologists like Professor Robson Brown to analyse the internal structure of objects such as bones and pottery, but it works equally well for small bodies with complex internal anatomy like a chrysalis.
Watch the footage on BBC Nature: X-ray scans look at changes inside a chrysalis
The documentary will be repeated on Sunday 17 March at 7pm on BBC HD.