The Wild Life Season 1 Finale: The Metamorphosis Metaphor

Starting at a young age, we are all introduced to this idea, an idea that we carry with us and adapt, and reapply as a metaphor for our own lives—this idea of becoming something new, beginning again as something better. But behind this idea is a process, and despite our lifelong exposure, most don’t really know what exactly is going on

In the Season 1 Finale of The Wild Life, Devon and Richard expose the mystery of metamorphosis, what happens inside the chrysalis, whether or not a butterfly remembers or a caterpillar knows, destroy the metamorphosis metaphor, and build it anew, all with the help of Dr. Martha Weiss of Georgetown University.

Our podcast can also be found on iTunes here. Remember, you can submit your guesses for Animal Sound of the Week by sending us a message on Facebook.

Thank you to those who have been with us since the beginning, and to those who have joined along the way.

This episode is the finale of our first season and for the next couple of months, we will be stepping away to work on the next season. So far, this show has already undergone a lot of change, mostly—hopefully—for the better. We started this thing with an idea but no clear idea of where to take it, or even what we’d be doing for the next episode. Honestly, we both got some cheap mics, free programming, and jumped right in. As soon as we’d finish one episode it was like “well, what do you want to do next?” But a few things remained consistent: the goal, and that with each episode we got a little bit better.

We may be taking a break from putting up new episodes for a couple of months, but the work is just getting started. Consider this our metamorphosis. We are planning out and working on the entire next season, asking questions and going wherever the answers take us, and searching for the best guests we can find to help us along the way as we transform ourselves–and the show–to be the best it can be.

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Remember, If you have questions for us that you want, nay, need answered, you can submit your questions by sending us a message on Facebook, @TheWildLifeBlog, sending me a message on instagram @devonthenatureguy, or by clicking the green AskTWL button on the front page of our website. There are no such thing as bad or dumb questions. The whole of human knowledge came to be only after millions of wrong guesses, near misses, and failures. Never be afraid to ask, because that’s how we learn!

Stay tuned for updates on the next season!

For those wondering, this is the time lapse video we sent around that we refer to in the beginning.


If you’d like to read the full details of the study which looked at whether or not memories could be retained between stages, you can do so here. 

big 3 phase Manduca
All three stages of the Tobacco Hornworm used in the study, Retention of Memory through Metamorphosis: Can a Moth Remember What It Learned As a Caterpillar?
Here is the Y-Tube “maze” referred to in the episode


Citation: Blackiston DJ, Silva Casey E, Weiss MR (2008) Retention of Memory through Metamorphosis: Can a Moth Remember What It Learned As a Caterpillar? PLoS ONE 3(3): e1736.

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