Tag: internal compass

Image: Richiebits
Animals Science

Unlocking The Mysteries Of The Monarch Butterfly’s Incredible Journey

Every year, Monarch butterflies fly more than 4,000 kilometres from Canada to Mexico.

Until recently, no-one was sure how the Monarch butterfly knew the exact path to take that would ensure it would end up at its intended destination after such a long flight.

Now Canadian scientists believe they have discovered the secret to the butterfly’s internal sense of direction.

Scientists wanted to know if the Monarchs used a type of “internal compass” or an “internal map.” Some animals and birds have both.

To find out, researchers tested the butterflies by starting them different locations than they normally would. Ryan Norris, an associate professor of biology at the University of Guelph, started them on their journey from Guelph, Ontario and Calgary, Alberta.