The latest addition to our ‘top 5 coolest facts about bugs’ series is………….. the silk worm! (*Don’t forget to check out our previous ‘Top 5’ posts featuring worms, ants, cicadas & bees for more FREE mini fact posters!)
Would you want to be a silkworm or silk-moth?
- PROS: Silkworms live a life of luxury! They are kept warm and clean and well fed at all times.
- CONS: Silkworms have been so heavily domesticated (over 5000+ years) that they are unable to survive by themselves in the wild. To get the silk from the cocoon in a clean, single thread, most cocoons are exposed to high heat to kill the pupae inside. If the pupa is allowed to continue its lifecycle, it will release a special enzyme to dissolve some of the silk threads so it can emerge as a moth. The enzyme means that the silk thread will be broken into different lengths, which isn’t as valuable as an unbroken length. Did you know that Gandhi promoted cotton spinning machines as an alternative to silk and also promoted wild silk (known as ‘Peace-silk’) which is made from the cocoons of wild and semi wild silkmoths?
Looking for a more in depth resources about silkworms? You might want to check out our ‘Fuzzy Moths & Silky Worms’ resource – packed full of lots of fascinating facts and fun activities all about the life of the silkworm and silk moth.
|Click here to find this resource in my TpT store
Don’t forget to tell someone next time you’re wearing silk, that the fabric is actually made out of hardened silkworm saliva!