A sharp decline in North America's monarch butterfly population (90 percent in the last 20 years!) means the species may soon be headed for protected status.
For decades, entomologists assumed that birds didn't eat monarch butterflies because they didn't like the taste. Until in 1957, one scientist decided to test that theory, using the same logic that parents of recalcitrant kids use to coax them into eating their spinach. You don't know you don't like it until you try it!
For the first time ever, scientists have sequenced the genome of a creature who migrates long distances: the Monarch butterfly. The Monarch Genome Project hopes to provide insight into the butterflies' mysterious migratory pattern, which involves travel over great distances for several generations. How do these…
Every four generations, Monarch butterflies create a "super generation" that lives long enough to migrate to Mexico. In this video from National Geographic, we see how the butterflies engineer their children for such astonishing longevity.