Fossilized Mites Reveal Interesting Methods Of Camouflage

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The butterflies live in a difficult period, about 47 million years at a time when life was still trying to fill the void left by the extinction of dinosaurs great, they used their colors to blend with foliage, while nesting, according to Maria McNamara, a paleobiologist and post-doctoral researcher at Yale University. But given that today's green butterflies contain highly toxic cyanide to ward off predators, so the butterflies could also be used.

dinosaur fossils

McNamara and his colleagues are looking for so-called structural colors: not produced by pigments, but those produced by body tissues. They were "read" by a few fossils found in Germany when they came across several butterfly species, all belonging to a group known as Lepidoptera, which includes butterflies. The fossils were well preserved - to the point where scientists can study the scales of feathers on the wings of small moths old, "who held the key to their structural color.

This may not seem a great discovery, but offers a lot of them, and also highlights an important part of the ecosystem. First, they had found all the colors are diurnal creatures, unlike most butterflies today, lying at night. The iridescent color was not, which means that it was absolutely the same from any angle (unlike some beetles), indicating that it was probably used for camouflage, and warning.

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