In many animal species, the larva is a developmental stage specially adapted for active nutrition and growth.
The presence of the larval stage in the development of amphibians, many insects and other animals provides them with the opportunity to live in different environments and use different food sources. For example, caterpillars develop on certain types of plants and feed on their vegetative organs, and butterflies feed on nectar and have a wider range of plants that supply food. Tadpoles live in water and feed on plant foods, while frogs live mostly terrestrial lifestyles and feed on animal foods. This helps to weaken the competition between parents and offspring, the survival of animals in the early stages of postembryonic development.
In some organisms, the larvae contribute to the spread of the species, the expansion of its range. In this case, the larval stage can be adapted for resettlement (in sedentary or attached animals, for example, coral polyps, oysters, mussels) or to search for a new host (in parasitic forms).
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