Metamorphosis: An Overview

  • George Wald


With metamorphosis it is easy to know where to start, but hard to know where to stop. The big metamorphoses make a great impression. Ovid must have known of them in naming his great poem that is the source of most of our classic mythology. The term itself is a misnomer, for much more is going on than the changes of form that it literally means. We realize now that along with the form the biochemistry is profoundly altered; and both kinds of change prepare for large changes in ecology and behavior. There are also always aspects of reminiscence, evocations of the metamorphosing animal’s evolutionary past. Altogether a profound change of life, a metabiosis. And once one has explored a complete metamorphosis, one begins to recognize its bits and pieces all around.


Freshwater Fish Marine Fish Visual Pigment Freezing Point Depression Anadromous Fish 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • George Wald
    • 1
  1. 1.Biological LaboratoriesHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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