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Life Cycles

The earth is full of animals continually experiencing their own cycles of life. Beginning as infants, growing into adult­hood, reproducing, in some cases raising their offspring, and eventually dying. These are the Life Cycles which virtu­ally all animals have in common. But, the life cycle plays out very differently from one species to another. Mammals, such as gorillas, tend to have babies that when born, look similar to their parents. Other animals, such as many reptiles and insects, start life in a completely different form to their parents. Let’s take butterflies and frogs; the butterfly begins life as a caterpillar, the frog as a tadpole. They undergo a metamorphosis: literally changing from one type of creature, into another. But that is just the beginning, and throughout their entire existence, all animals face life chang­ing events, which may determine their very survival.