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Chicken Eggs as Drug Factories
Springing forward
Watering the Air
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A Whale's Amazing Tooth
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Blotchy Face, Big-Time Wasp
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Hitting the redo button on evolution
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Pencil Thin
Smelly Traps for Lampreys
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New eyes to scan the skies
The Shape of the Internet
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Winged Insects May Go Way Back
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Slip Slidin' Away—Under the Sea
Killer Space Rock Snuffed Out Ancient Life
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Cactus Goo for Clean Water
Hazy with a Chance of Sunshine
Watching for Wildfires in Yellowstone
Finding the Past
Your inner Neandertal
Decoding a Beverage Jar
Salt and Early Civilization
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Mahi-Mahi
Pygmy Sharks
Manta Rays
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Symbols from the Stone Age
How Super Are Superfruits?
Allergies: From Bee Stings to Peanuts
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Who vs. That vs. Which
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Attacking Asthma
Football Scrapes and Nasty Infections
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Termites
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Elk
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Kangaroos
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Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
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The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
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Road Bumps
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Assembling the Tree of Life
Sweet, Sticky Science
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Asp
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Supernovas Shed Light on Dark Energy
A Moon's Icy Spray
Intruder Alert: Sweeping Space for Dust
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Smart Windows
Shape Shifting
Sugar Power for Cell Phones
The Parts of Speech
Adjectives and Adverbs
What is a Preposition?
What is a Noun
Transportation
Troubles with Hubble
Ready, unplug, drive
Flying the Hyper Skies
Weather
Recipe for a Hurricane
Antarctica warms, which threatens penguins
The Best Defense Is a Good Snow Fence
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Butterflies

A butterfly is a flying insect of the order Lepidoptera. Many butterflies have striking colours and patterns on their wings. When touched by humans, they tend to lose some scales, that look like a fine powder. If they lose too many scales, their ability to fly will be impaired. People who study or collect butterflies (or the closely related moths) are called lepidopterists. Butterfly watching is growing in popularity as a hobby. Diet: Butterflies live primarily on nectar from flowers. Some also derive nourishment from pollen, tree sap, rotting fruit, dung, and dissolved minerals in wet sand or dirt. Butterflies are also pollinators, and some -- like the monarch -- migrate over great distances each year. A taste for salt: Several species of butterflies need more sodium than provided by the nectar they drink from flowers. As such, they are attracted to the sodium in salt (which the males often give to the females to ensure fertility). As human sweat contains significant quantities of salt, they sometimes land on people. Confused identity: Butterflies are often confused with moths, but there are a few simple differences between them, including colour, habits, and pupating appearance. The easiest way to tell them apart is their appearance when at rest -- butterflies tend to rest with their wings spread open, while moths tend to rest with their wings closed. Funnel eggs: Butterfly eggs consist of a hard-ridged outer layer of shell, called the chorion. This is lined with a thin coating of wax which prevents the egg from drying out before the larva has had time to fully develop. Each egg contains a number of tiny funnel-shaped openings at one end, called micropyles; the purpose of these holes is to allow sperm to enter and fertilize the egg. Butterfly and moth eggs vary greatly in size between species, but they are all either round or oval in shape. Eating machines: Butterfly larvae, or caterpillars, are multi-legged eating machines. They consume plant leaves and spend practically all of their time in search of food. When the larva exceeds a minimum weight at a particular time of day, it will stop feeding and begin "wandering" in a quest for a suitable pupation site, usually the underside of a leaf. The larva transforms into a pupa (chrysalis), which then transforms into a butterfly by metamorphosis. To transform from the miniature wings visible on the outside of the pupa into large structures usable for flight, the pupal wings must absorb a great deal of nutrients. If one wing is surgically removed early on, the other three will grow to a larger size. Growing to fly: The adult, sexually mature, stage of the insect is known as the imago. As Lepidoptera, butterflies have four wings that are covered with tiny scales, but, unlike moths, the fore- and hindwings are not hooked together, permitting a more graceful flight. After it emerges from its pupal stage, a butterfly cannot fly for some time, because its wings have not yet unfolded. A newly-emerged butterfly needs to spend some time 'inflating' its wings with blood and letting them dry, during which time it is extremely vulnerable to predators.

Butterflies
Butterflies








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