butterflies butterflies

A modern moth with a proboscis, the organ adapted for sucking up fluids such as nectar. Newly discovered fossil evidence suggests ancestors of such animals exists before flowering plants, raising questions about what ancient butterflies and moths used their tongue-like appendages for. Hossein Rajaei/Science Advances hide caption

toggle caption
Hossein Rajaei/Science Advances

'Butterfly Tongues' Are More Ancient Than Flowers, Fossil Study Finds

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/576763256/577163279" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Thomas Gaffield (1825-1900) investigated the patterns on the wings of the butterflies (notice the bodies are missing). He was well aware that various chemical compositions in manufactured glass caused changed color overtime and suggested certain kinds of glass for the skylights in photography studios. Courtesy of Smithsonian National Museum of American History hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of Smithsonian National Museum of American History