The Monarch Butterfly Annual Migration Essay

1239 Words Dec 14th, 2016 5 Pages
The monarch butterfly annual migration is a visually spectacular feat, in terms of the number of butterflies flying to their overwintering sites and as well as the masses that congregates at the overwintering sites in Mexico. The idea that monarch butterflies exhibited migratory behavior was once controversial, it was not until Fred Urquhart and his colleagues pioneered a tagging work with the eastern North American population for decades that revealed the long distance of the monarch migration. The tagging efforts that began in 1937 lead to the discovery of their overwintering sites in Mexico in 1975. With its long distance traveled and the nature of the predictable and the repetitive nature of its annual migration. The monarch has become the ideal organism to study long distance migration among vertebrates (Reppert and other 2015). Only in the past 15 years’ that great efforts have been made to understand the monarch’s migration, the discovery of the main compass system used to orient its flight and the nature of the circadian clock used for time compensation. Although the understanding of the neuronal network of the time-compensated sun compass has increased, the circuitry involved in the processing and integration of directional and timing information that produces directed migratory flight remains unknown. In the past 20 years the amount of monarchs in North America has been on a steady decline, and has raised concerns about the monarch’s long distance…

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