Each fall, thousands of monarch butterflies embark on one of nature’s greatest journeys.
They flutter more than 2,000 miles from their summer homes in Canada to central Mexico. Only about 30 percent survive the trip.
And researchers have found that the butterflies that survive tend to be slightly spottier.
The butterflies’ wings are mostly orange, but their edges are black with tiny white spots.
Science has found that these black edges contribute to the monarchs’ migratory capabilities.
Dark colors absorb more heat and enhance their flight efficiency, basically increasing the lift and decreasing the drag.
The spots also create pockets of heating and cooling on the wing edge.
The butterflies that completed the migration were about 3 percent spottier than the ones at the starting line. Bu.