Animal Life Cycle – Animals on this planet earth are very many or even hundreds, ranging from small animals to large animals. The number of animals in the world is called biodiversity.
Every animal that exists in this world will surely breed, so that animal development will continue to occur. Reproduction in each animal greatly affects the survival of the animal. Reproduction of every animal life, starting from the embryo, the birth process, the process to adulthood, reproduce, and experience death.
Reproduction in animals occurs because of the sexual process between male and female animals. In this process there will be a process called fertilization. Fertilization is the fusion of the nucleus of the sperm cell and the nucleus of the egg cell. Fertilization in animals can be in two ways, namely internal and external fertilization.
In addition to breeding, animals also experience a life cycle. The animal life cycle is the stage of animal growth from birth to adulthood. Here’s a full explanation. Like living things in general, animals also have their own animal life cycle. The life cycle of animals is part of their stage of development from hatching or birth, until growing up.
In the book Natural Sciences written by Inggit Awanda DM, and friends, it is stated that every animal has a different life cycle. In addition, the existence of a life cycle is also a natural way for animals to avoid extinction.
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Definition of Animal Life Cycle
As mentioned earlier, the animal life cycle is a stage of growth and development of animals from hatching or birth, to the stage of becoming an adult animal. The process of animal development varies, for example in chickens and cats. Where these two animals have changes in shape that resemble their parents or do not experience changes in body shape at the stage of growth.
Meanwhile, for animals that experience changes in form in the process of breeding, it is called metamorphosis. For the animal life cycle, metamorphosis is divided into two, namely complete metamorphosis and incomplete metamorphosis.
Types of Animal Life Cycle
As already explained, each animal has a different development process based on changes in body shape. The following are the types of animal life cycles in more detail. Among them:
1. Animal Life Cycle Without Metamorphosis
The process of development without metamorphosis or is meant by the life cycle of animals without any change in form. There are also examples of animals that are around with a development process without metamorphosis, namely chickens and cats.
Quoting from Inggit’s book Natural Sciences , it is explained that adult hens will produce eggs, which then hatch and incubate for approximately 21 days. When hatched, the chicks will be fluffy. Towards adulthood, the feathers on the chicken began to change like its mother. The cycle will take place again, where the adult hens can later lay eggs again.
Just like chickens, cats become animals that breed without metamorphosis. When a female cat gives birth to several kittens, then the cat will then turn into an adult cat and have a shape that is very similar to its mother. If it has started to grow up, the female cat begins to breed again and gives birth to another cat.
2. Animal Life Cycle with Metamorphosis
If previously the process of animal development without metamorphosis, the next is development with metamorphosis. The point is an animal that during its lifetime there are stages of biological development and involve changes in appearance or structure after birth or hatching.
Metamorphosis is a biological development process in animals that involves changes in physical appearance and/or structure after birth or hatching. These physical changes occur due to cell growth and cell differentiation which are radically different.
The physical changes that occur in these animals occur due to cell growth and cell differentiation, meaning processes that allow less specialized cells to become more specialized. So that there can be a change in shape that is so significant that it becomes an adult animal.
Animal Life Cycle Metamorphosis
Continuing the previous discussion, that the animal life cycle with metamorphosis is also divided into two types. Among them are complete metamorphosis and incomplete metamorphosis.
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1. Complete Metamorphosis
Complete metamorphosis is the process of changing the shape of an animal’s body from small to adult. Animals that undergo complete metamorphosis will generally go through 4 stages of development, including egg – larva – pupa (cocoon) – adult (imago).
An example of an animal whose life cycle is complete metamorphosis is a butterfly. Where butterflies will breed starting from eggs attached to leaves, then turning into caterpillars. For about 15 days, the caterpillar will then turn into a pupa or cocoon. When the pupa period lasts for days, when it is perfect and timed enough, the adult butterfly emerges from the cocoon ready to fly with its beautiful wings.
Below will be explained the stages that occur in complete metamorphosis to make it more clear.
a. Egg Phase
The egg phase is the first phase of reproduction in animals. In this phase the eggs produced by the female come from the fertilization that occurs in the male animal. The egg cell that meets the sperm cell will cause division. In this division process the time required varies depending on the type of animal.
From the results of this division will produce eggs that are quite a lot. The eggs are then laid by the female in their habitat. For example, butterflies, these animals will lay their eggs on the surface of the leaves. While mosquitoes will lay their eggs on the surface of calm water.
Parent animals lay their eggs according to their habitat because after experiencing a change in shape they can immediately look for food. Young animals that are easy to find food experience very fast growth.
b. Larvae Phase
After passing through the egg phase, the next stage that occurs in complete metamorphosis is the larval phase. This larval phase is a phase in which young animals have started to actively look for food. The food that is obtained is very easy because the mother has prepared if the chicks develop, there is no need to bother looking for food
In other words, the mother of each animal is very kind because she does not want her children to have trouble finding food. In this larval stage, some animals have an exoskeleton. The exoskeleton of an animal can be defined as an insect or other animal that undergoes skin changes or ecdysis.
Skin changes that occur in the larvae will cause the larvae to change shape to become larger. These skin changes can occur several times depending on the type of animal. In addition, this skin change will stop when the larvae have started to stop to eat and prepare to go to the next phase.