Is ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ Unusually Hungry for a Caterpillar?

Louisa Perry

Abstract


Caterpillars are known for being a larval insect with a big appetite. The Antheraea polyphemus in particular is able to eat 86,000 times its own body mass in 56 days. When modelled as a caterpillar with a mass of 0.04 g, The Very Hungry Caterpillar eats 1918.8 g (2006.5 kcal) of food over seven days which is approximately 48,000 times its own body mass. On a day to day basis, this value is found to be much more than known caterpillars. The model does not take into account the growth of the caterpillar over time which may limit the extent of the accuracy of the values calculated.


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References


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