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A fun food-based activity to keep kids entertained at home.
Create a colourful caterpillar, watch cress grow and eat the tasty results.
Follow our simple instructions to transform eggshells and cress seeds into a caterpillar.
There are hundreds of types of caterpillar in the UK to choose from. We've highlighted a selection of interesting ones for inspiration.
Cress grows quickly. You should start to see your seeds sprouting within a few days and often in as little as 24 hours. After seven days, the cress will usually have grown at least three centimetres tall and be ready to harvest.
Caterpillars are the second stage in the lives of butterflies and moths.
There are 59 different types of butterfly in the UK and just under 2,500 types of moth.
Here's a selection of colourful British caterpillars with dramatic patterns to use as inspiration for decorating your eggshells:
Many caterpillars are dull browns and greens, which helps them stay hidden on leaves and branches.
Others have gone for the opposite approach and are decorated with vivid colours and patterns. This is to warn predators such as birds that they taste bad or are dangerous to eat, or to at least fool the predators into believing this.
Some caterpillars even develop disguises that, combined with particular behaviour, startle predators. For example, the eyespots of the elephant hawkmoth caterpillar are thought to make it look like a more intimidating animal.
Like other insects, caterpillars have six proper legs. They are attached to the part of their body nearest their head. Caterpillars have additional stumpy body parts called prolegs towards the back of their body that help them move around. They use them to grip onto twigs, stems and other surfaces.
Different caterpillar species have different numbers of prolegs - between two and five pairs. So, caterpillars can look like they have up to 16 legs, although only six are true legs with joints like our knees and ankles.
... or that it helped you learn something new. Now we're wondering if you can help us.
Every year, more people are reading our articles to learn about the challenges facing the natural world. Our future depends on nature, but we are not doing enough to protect our life support system.
British wildlife is under threat. The animals and plants that make our island unique are facing a fight to survive. Hedgehog habitats are disappearing, porpoises are choking on plastic and ancient woodlands are being paved over.
But if we don't look after nature, nature can't look after us. We must act on scientific evidence, we must act together, and we must act now.
Despite the mounting pressures, hope is not lost. Museum scientists are working hard to understand and fight against the threats facing British wildlife.
For many, the Museum is a place that inspires learning, gives purpose and provides hope. People tell us they 'still get shivers walking through the front door', and thank us for inspiring the next generation of scientists.
To reverse the damage we've done and protect the future, we need the knowledge that comes from scientific discovery. Understanding and protecting life on our planet is the greatest scientific challenge of our age. And you can help.
We are a charity and we rely on your support. No matter the size, every gift to the Museum is critical to our 300 scientists' work in understanding and protecting the natural world.
From as little as £2, you can help us to find new ways to protect nature. Thank you.