HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
How butterflies fly thousands of miles without getting lost revealed by researchers

Jerusalem -- While "navigation" systems in automobiles are a fairly new (and still costly) innovation, monarch butterflies have managed for millennia to navigate their way for a distance of some 3000 miles (4800 kilometers) each fall from Canada to Mexico (and vice-versa in the spring) without losing their way.

The phenomenon of long-range bird migration is a well-known one, but not in the insect world. Also, among birds their migration route is a round-trip one, which they make more than once in their lifetimes, while for the monarch it is strictly a one-way trip for each butterfly. How do these creatures do it?

The mystery of the mechanisms involved in this remarkable phenomenon has been resolved by a team of scientists who did this by exploring the infinitesimal butterfly brain and eye tissues to uncover new insights into the biological machinery that directs this delicate creature on its lengthy flight path.

The research team, led by Prof. Steven Reppert of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, included Dr. Oren Froy, now of the Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Others involved were from the Czech Academy of Sciences and the University of California, Irvine. Their latest findings were published in a recent issue of Neuron magazine, constituting a continuation of their earlier work, published in the journal Science.

While light in general is essential to the functioning of the "biological clock" in the butterfly brain governing its metabolic cycles, including its "signal" to migrate -- the researchers discovered that it is specifically the ultraviolet band of light that is crucial to the creature's orientation. The butterflies have special photoreceptors for ultraviolet (UV) light in their eyes which provide them with their sense of direction.

They proved that this ultraviolet "navigation" is crucial by placing butterflies
'"/>

Contact: Jerry Barach
jerryb@savion.huji.ac.il
972-2-588-2904
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
1-Aug-2005


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Climate change isolates Rocky Mountain butterflies
2. Researchers witness natural selection at work in dramatic comeback of male butterflies
3. Male-killing bacteria makes female butterflies more promiscuous
4. Nevada scientist part of team that discovers hybrid speciation in butterflies in Sierra
5. Have traits, will travel: Some butterflies travel farther, reproduce faster
6. How butterflies got their spots: A supergene controls wing pattern diversity
7. Where have all the butterflies gone?
8. Ultralight plane migrating with monarch butterflies to land in Washington
9. Expanding forests darken the outlook for butterflies, study shows
10. Female butterflies go for sparkle -- not size -- when choosing to mate
11. From butterflies to freshwater supplies

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:12/6/2016)... Dec. 6, 2016 Securus Technologies, a ... solutions for public safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring, ... today a five (5) year funding commitment by ... expand the rehabilitation and reentry support to more ... Established in 2004, the Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP) ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... , Dec. 1, 2016   SoftServe , ... BioLock , an electrocardiogram (ECG) biosensor analysis ... a key IoT asset. The smart system ensures ... vehicle,s steering wheel and mobile devices to easily ... As vehicle technology advances, so too ...
(Date:11/29/2016)... BOSTON , Nov. 29, 2016 BioDirection, ... rapid point-of-care products for the objective detection of concussion ... the company has successfully completed a meeting with the ... company,s Tbit™ blood test Pre-Submission Package. During the meeting ... Tbit™ system as a precursor to commencement of a ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... From ... innovation is taking over sports. On Thursday, December 15th a panel of entrepreneurs, ... disrupting the playing field at a Smart Talk session. Smart Talk will run ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Dec. 8, 2016  Biotheranostics today announced that ... of the Breast Cancer Index (BCI) in identifying ... are most at-risk for disease recurrence and might ... from three studies advancing the understanding of the ... tumor biology and inform decisions related to patient ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... -- Eurofins announces the appointment of Sean Murray , National ... (ESI). Mr. Murray will bring valuable expertise to ... in leading international business teams. As the National Division Leader, he ... Eurofins, status as the global leader in bio-analytical testing services. ... , , ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... the FrontPanel SDK that provide essential device-to-computer interconnect using USB or PCI Express, ... require FrontPanel support. The FOMD-ACV-A4 is a small, thin, SODIMM-style module that fits ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: