Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Monarch Migration

So, there is probably some sort of consensus that butterflies in general are beautiful, but I think the monarch butterfly is especially beautiful. Not because of its coloring or wing shape, but because of what it does. Those tiny, fragile little butterflies travel up to 3,000 miles for wintering grounds. And every time they make this trip, it is the first time because of their short lifespan. Monarchs are born knowing where in Mexico or California they must end up in order to survive the winter. It's a pretty complicated journey that sometimes involves several generations, but it's all very impressive. Here is a video that goes into further detail (you can skip ahead to 0:48). Another surprising fact about the monarch butterfly: When they winter in Mexico, they clump together on tree branches so closely together, it is common for them to break off enormous branches! You could actually see the branch swaying under their weight in the video.

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