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Butterflies, mystery and beauty

Published: 2016.02.04 - 17:45:00   /  web@renciclopedia.icrt.cu  /  Redacción Digital Enciclopedia
  

Butterflies, mystery and beautyButterflies with graceful wings are flower lovers and couples of the wind in their dance; they have kept secrets within their small bodies, which they hide both night and day.

Butterflies are unable to regulate body temperature because they are cold-blooded, and can only survive in warm areas that are between 28-38 ° C. For this reason, there are more than 24,000 species on every continent, except in Antarctica and most live in the rainforests.

Once they emerge from the chrysalis, they do not fly immediately, but rather they put their body fluids in motion so that their wings spread. Then they wait a few hours until strengthened and only then begin their journey across the sky.

The existence of these beautiful insects lasts 2 to 4 weeks, although the monarch butterfly lives up to 9 months. Since they leave their chrysalis, there are only two main priorities: to eat and reproduce.

Contrary to what our eyes see, the wings are transparent, made up of chitin, the basic protein of the exoskeleton of insects. It consists of layers as thin as a glass, and are covered with flakes that reflect the different wavelengths of light like a prism. The structure is so fragile that a soft touch can damage it forever.

The mating process may last from 20 minutes to several hours and the number of eggs varies depending on the species, they may be up to 500, of which only a few will reach adulthood.

Approximately 40 million years ago, the diurnal butterflies evolved from moths and are able to achieve an average speed of 12 km / h.


By Daniela Hernández, a journalism student

Translated by Luis E. Amador Dominguez

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