A Month of Power-Eating

Can you imagine waiting 11 *months* to eat? That’s life for the arctic woolly bear caterpillar, which hibernates nearly the whole year. They wake up in June and do a year’s worth of eating in just 4 weeks, then wrap themselves in a cocoon until the next summer. It takes 7 to 14 years of this weird life to turn into a moth with wings. As humans, we’re very lucky to eat every day.

Wee ones: If a fuzzy caterpillar just became a moth at 9 years old, is it older or younger than you?

Little kids: If that 9-year-old moth’s buddy took 1 year longer to become a moth, how old is the buddy?  Bonus: If you spent the month of June eating and slept the rest of the year, how many months each year would you sleep?

Big kids: If you got a pet arctic woolly bear caterpillar today and it became a moth 14 years from now, how old would you be then?  Bonus: What fraction of your life do you spend eating compared to these caterpillars? If you eat 3 meals a day and spend 1 hour on each, what fraction of your day (and your life) is that?




Wee ones: Different for everyone…talk about whether you’re older or younger than 9 years.

Little kids: 10 years old.  Bonus: 11 months.

Big kids: Different for everyone…add 14 to your age.  Bonus: 1/8, since it’s 3 hours out of 24 hours in a day.

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