The Migration of Monarch Butterflies from Canada to Mexico has been one of the most curious mysteries which ruled the minds of nature experts for years.
And now, researchers from the University of Washington have revealed that these butterflies possess highly-accurate internal compasses, which helps them traveling to long distances without getting lost. Journal Cell Reports.published the study on April 14, 2016.
During every year, as autumn hits the U.S, Monarch Butterflies all across the nation used to migrate to Central Mexico, seeking a warm climate. During this 2000 miles journey, these creatures will not lose their way even once which perplexed experts for a long time.
Internal compass in the body of these insects allows them to determine the position of the sun. They can also understand the time of day without any hassles which help them move in the right direction.
Biologists were well aware that these butterflies use the above mentioned two factors to travel, but now with the new finding, the process by which their brain receives and interprets the data is also unveiled.
Just like human beings, monarch butterflies too have a biological clock, based on the rhythmic expression of key genes. The clock is centered in the antenna, and it helps them in maintaining the a daily pattern of physiology and behavior.
Dr. Shlizermanof, Assistant Professor at the University of Washington, told that the team of researchers created a model that incorporates the way in which the eye and antenna send information to the brain.
Usually, Monarch butterflies use its broad and complex eyes to track. Sun’s position in the sky. However, the researchers also found that these insects cannot determine the direction by sun’s position alone. Sun’s position will be combined with the time of the day to find the correct direction.