If you’ve been particularly observant this quarter, you may have noticed one display of the awe-inspiring flora and fauna on our beautiful campus: the Western tussock caterpillar. These tiny buggers are truly amazing feats of nature, crawling right under our noses here in Stanford, Calif! Here’s a few quick facts that you might find particularly useful.

1. They have a lot of teeth. Like a lot a lot.

Canines, molars, wisdom – they’ve got them all! If you look closely into these larvaes’ mouths, you’ll be amazed how many chompers they can cram in there. In fact, caterpillars have such a strong bite strength that if given the chance, they can break through human bone. Neat-o!

2. They’re not super into In ‘n Out

Yeah, they’ll eat it, but to be honest, these bugs think that the famous West Coast burger spot is a little overrated. Don’t get me wrong, they don’t hate it or anything, they just think Five Guys is a lot better. Have you tried it?

3. They can grow up to 8 billion times their size during the pupa stage.

Okay, I’m not super sure of the number here, but that sounds about right. They can get fucking huge.

4. They’re bilingual!

Language requirement’s got nothing on these insects! These babies leave the egg stage of their life already knowing two of the most common moth languages. And by the time they exit the cocoon? They’re up to 4, maybe even 5 of the most useful ones.

5. They’re just as worried about the Draw as you are.

Look, it might seem like they’ve got it all figured it out, but trust me – these creepy crawlers have no idea where they’ll be living next year, let alone who they’ll be living with! Preassignment? Co-ops? It means nothing to them! Honestly, they’re not even sure if they’re gonna be moths or butterflies! How do you tell again??

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