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When you have an insect that has, for example, two forms, like a caterpillar and a moth, the two stages are so completely different that they no longer compte with each other. The moth eats nectar, and the caterpillar eats leaves. There is no competition between the two, as there would be in a continually developing insect that ate both at some point. This lessening of interspecies competition was a great help in allowing the species to propogate itself. Along with the lessening of the competition was teh ability to take ofver new niches. A caterpillar and a butterfly could occupy different places in teh ecosystem - this allowed for great diversification - another thing that has helped insects becoms so succesful.
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