Essay Characteristics Of The Monarch Butterfly

1058 Words Jun 1st, 2016 null Page
Monarch butterflies are bright orange with black and white markings on its wings. Males and females can be differentiated based on observing their hind wings; while males have a black spot at the center of each hind wing, females do not. These wings give males a selective advantage; they are able to attract female mates. Similar to migrating birds, the monarch butterflies use the clear benefit of updrafts of warm air, called “thermals” and glide as they migrate, to preserve the energy required for flapping their wings throughout the voyage. Studies show that monarch butterflies that migrate for long distances have evolved significantly bigger and longer wings than their cousins. These long wings have a narrow tip, thereby reducing drag and their large bodies assist them by carrying fat deposits in order to fuel the long journey. These traits are known to enhance flight abilities in other migratory species. The monarch butterfly is an ectotherm as it cannot maintain a constant body temperature, and thus, they need to rely on external sources of heat to regulate metabolic rates. Scientists discovered a gene related to collagen which proves to be essential for flight music function, therefore enhancing the flight efficiency of the butterflies. All in all, the energy management of the monarch butterfly’s wings are regulated by the nectar from milkweed, the use of a specific gene which aids in migration patterns, and through a process called basking.

To begin with, monarch…

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