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What are some adaptations of butterflies?

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Quick Answer

Some adaptations of butterflies include wing colorings that mimic the colorings of toxic species, clear membranes that allow butterflies to fly even after the scales of their wings have been rubbed off. Butterflies also move to shaded areas when the temperature is hot.

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Full Answer

The wing colors and patterns of butterflies are one of their most visible adaptations. Some butterflies have wing patterns that allow them to blend into their surroundings, while others have colorings that make predators believe they are poisonous. Still other butterflies have wing patterns that look like eyes, making them appear larger and scarier to enemies.

Although many children are told that touching a butterfly's wings ruins them and makes it impossible for the butterfly to fly, that is not true. Butterflies have adapted to have a clear membrane underneath their wings, and this protects the integrity of their wings.

As butterflies deal with rising temperatures, many of them adapt by seeking shelter in cooler habitats. Others expand their range into cooler areas or higher altitudes. However, only a small portion of butterflies are making this adjustment. Scientists in Spain have discovered that for every 1 degree Celsius increase in temperature, approximately 1 percent of the butterflies hide in cooler areas.

Butterflies adapt relatively quickly, making them an ideal subject for studies about evolution. Scientists examine how butterflies develop different mate preferences, and they argue that this leads to adaptations that go much deeper than just color variation.

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