butterflies

11 Stories

Scientists Crack Monarch Butterflies' Big Secret

They're able to monitor time and the sun

(Newser) - Monarch butterflies "are not just pretty animals. They are a biological treasure trove." That's the takeaway from a new study on how the tiny insects manage to navigate thousands of miles from the US and Canada to Mexico: Eli Shlizerman of the University of Washington and his... More »

Monarch Origin Shocks Scientists

Study finds Monarch butterflies started out in North America

(Newser) - Monarch butterflies are famous for migrating from the US and Canada to Mexico for the winter. Now a surprising study in Nature suggests the species itself also started out in North America some 2 million years ago. A researcher from the University of Chicago says monarchs were widely thought to... More »

Mexico Spots Hopeful Glimmer for Dwindling Monarchs

Migrating butterflies turn up early after hitting lowest levels last year

(Newser) - Experts in Mexico said yesterday there is a tentative sign of hope for the mass migration of monarch butterflies, whose numbers dropped to their lowest level ever last year. The head of Mexico's nature reserves, Luis Fueyo, said the first butterflies have been seen entering Mexico earlier than usual... More »

Missing Man Survived for Month on Butterflies

Stephen Currie found 30 pounds lighter after month in Australia bush

(Newser) - Stephen Currie has a fairly delicate creature to thank in part for his survival, having been stranded for a month in the Australian bush amid 100-degree temps. Three weeks after police gave up the search for the man who went missing Dec. 29 in northern Queensland, Currie, 40, was found... More »

Monarch Migration in Danger of Dying Out

Gardeners urged to plant milkweed

(Newser) - A stunning phenomenon is in danger of disappearing: The annual migration of millions of monarch butterflies from Canada and the US to Mexico every year has sunk to its lowest level on record and is in grave danger of dying out, researchers warn. This winter, the hibernating butterflies coat 1.... More »

Hirst Exhibition Killed 9K Butterflies

Animal rights groups slam British artist

(Newser) - British artist Damien Hirst, famous for his works using pickled and dismembered animals, has once again angered animal rights groups—this time for a work that used live creatures. His "In and Out of Love" exhibition at London's Tate Modern allowed visitors to observe the lives of butterflies... More »

Butterflies Return to Mexico

Population doubles last year's devastated numbers

(Newser) - Monarch butterflies are back in Mexico this year, after an alarming 75% drop in their numbers last year. A survey released today found that butterfly colonies encompassed 9.9 acres—a significant increase from the 4.7 acres that alarmed experts last year, reports the AP. The figures are "... More »

For One Man, Best Friend a Butterfly

(Newser) - Walking in DC last summer, Dan Southerland felt a butterfly land on his shoulder—where it stayed perched for the next few hours, as he ducked first into a photo store to document his fluttery friend, then into a steakhouse, and finally on a taxi ride to his suburban home,... More »

55M Monarchs Can't Be Wrong

Internal clock of 1-ounce butterfly sheds light on human sense of time

(Newser) - The 1-ounce monarch butterfly may have a thing or two to teach us: Each year, some 55 million monarchs make a 4,000-mile multigenerational journey from Canada to Mexico, returning to the same forest, often the same tree, without relying on GPS. How? The insects rely on a unique internal... More »

Mexican Aid to Protect Monarchs

Calderon promises funds to stem illegal logging in butterflies' habitat

(Newser) - The famous migrating monarch butterflies have a new ally in Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who yesterday said he would devote $4.6 million more to the central Mexican reserve where the butterflies hibernate—and crack down on the illegal logging that threatens the insects' habitat. Calderon hopes the measure will... More »

Butterfly Evolves in Blink of Eye

Parasite forces hyper-speed adaptation in male blue moon butterflies

(Newser) - One of the fastest evolutionary changes ever observed has been witnessed by scientists studying butterflies in the South Pacific, the BBC reports. Blue Moon butterflies managed to fight off a deadly parasitic bacteria by developing suppressor genes to fight the bacteria in just six years. Hard-hit males rebounded from 1%... More »

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