A Caligo butterfly from the family Nymphalidae, transitions (wait for it) from the beautiful top side to the underside which acts as a camouflage for the insect. Butterflies and moths appear to be very delicate creatures, and yet they turn out to be much tougher — both in terms of their anatomy and survival skills — than previously imagined.
What is the evolutionary connection between the moth and the butterfly? Unlike dinosaurs, moths and butterflies do not have bones that can fossilize and preserve. Their many wing scales, however, are made of chitin, which is the primary component of hard natural materials like crustacean exoskeletons and cephalopod beaks.
The Late Triassic scales come from insects in the order Lepidoptera, which is the second largest order in the class Insecta and includes butterflies & moths, However, these butterflies evolved from moth-like ancestors.
About 70 sturdy of scales from their wings have been identified in a drilled core from northern Germany. The ancestors of today's moths and butterflies, therefore, date to at least the latter part of the Late Triassic (251–199 million years BCE). The findings, published in the journal Science Advances, extend the origin of these insects by 5 million years since the previously related fossil record-holders — from the United Kingdom — date to 195 million years ago. There is little doubt that dinosaurs and other iconic animals from the time saw the insects fluttering around them, just as many of us do today.
Thanks @davesweeneyphoto & @lookandseen
#Butterfly #Mariposa #Farfalla #Papillon #Borboleta #Fluture #Paruparo #Schmetterling #Drugelis #Sommerfug @atedge #Evolution #EvolutionaryBiology