The Mysterious Undertakings of The Miraculous – The Hidden Lives of Mini-beasts and Butterflies, Part 2
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The Mysterious Undertakings of The Miraculous – The Hidden Lives of Mini-beasts and Butterflies, Part 2
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The Mysterious Undertakings of The Miraculous - The Hidden Lives of Mini-beasts & Butterflies, Part 2

As I said in last week's discovery, 'nothing in nature is ever straightforward, and there are things that a never quite what we thought they ought to be'. In the miraculous undertakings of our little beasties and winged friends, things are more than mysterious and are becoming quite obscene.

Unfortunately, it is one of those days where you might learn something that can never be unlearned. So be warned, if you want to maintain forever a perfect render of the butterfly and its unstained reputation - I encourage you not to read on.

Or, if you are curious like me to uncover some eye-popping news - continue.

Written and Produced by Emily Rack, @horatiosjar.

Butterflies go, where Milkweed grows.

Most of us think butterflies live off flower pollen and nectar and are perfect little beings of whimsy and myrrh - but that is simply untrue.

In the Jungle of Sulawesi, an island in the Indonesian archipelago, a gruesome discovery was made that has forever changed our point of view. 2019, two scientists from Sydney, Australia, were on a getaway, happy snapping the fauna and flora of the jungles in Sulawesi, when they happened upon a butterfly frenzy like none they had seen before.

Milkweed butterflies, named because of the caterpillar's appetite for the milkweed plant, were in a feeding bonanza that changed the annals of evolutionary biology. For the first time in scientific history, butterflies were documented eating live caterpillars from their own family. These were cannibalistic butterflies. Just imagining the scenario has my face scrunched up, my lips pressed tight, and my stomach rising into my throat. I will save you the gory details I learned from my research to bring you this startling news.

You can follow the links if you are keen to know the grittier version of what went on in the Jungle that day.

'This is the first time scientists have documented grisly behaviour.'

https://www.livescience.com/butterflies-drink-their-babies.html 'Over three days, the scientists counted seven species of milkweed butterflies that scraped and sipped living and dead caterpillars (it is unknown if the dead caterpillars were drained to death or died of their wounds). One possible explanation for why the butterflies find caterpillars so delicious is because milkweed alkaloids accumulate in the caterpillars' bodies from the leaves they eat, making their internal "juices" more potent, alkaloid-rich brew — and thereby more attractive to thirsty males the scientist suggested'. https://central.digitalschools.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/2022-Momarch-Butterfly.mov

It Doesn't Make Sense?

And why do they do it? Apparently, as a way to smell attractive to the opposite sex and ward off predation. Oddly they eat their own larvae to attract a mate to produce more babies, so why eat the ones they already have? Have they gone mad? STOP Eating Each Other!

Butterflies Fall From Grace.

So far, these butterflies appear to be the only ones cannibalising their kind, but that doesn't mean there isn't other eyebrow-raising behaviour in their community. You think cannibalism is terrible; some butterflies eat their poo. And it gets worse.

Yup that is correct; butterflies are certainly not the poster child for purity anymore.

Not only are there butterflies eating their poo, but they are also eating others. Butterflies also indulge in rotting fruit juices and dead insects, drink blood from various sources, slurp sweat and tears, Eek. Eye-opening, I know.

Next time a butterfly lands on my arm, I will be sure to wash it; after all, I have no idea where it has been. For all I know, it could have been sipping stale old cider out of a bottle in the trash, or worse…

The End

Guest Contributor: Emily Rack Business Name: Horatio’s Jar Publisher: Digital Schools Emily Rack is a  freelance creative writer and researcher, visual content creator, and designer. She is the head of the content production, publication - and editing for Upschool+ Guest Contributors -, and Horatio's Jar is her content production agency and wellbeing school.   Emily has dedicated her life to researching and understanding matters of the mind, body-, and the human experience. Her discoveries and research are focused on cultivating tools and dialogue that encourage us to live in peace and harmony here on earth. Her current focus is the environment and human connectivity, conservation, environmentalism, botany, biology-, and the practice of 'Nature Bathing'.  Emily is a writer, digital content creator, seasoned photographer-, and visual artist. ——- PUBLISHER’S DISCLAIMER: The publisher of this blog post (Digital Schools PTY LTD) works in partnership with the school as a 3rd party provider to help build and maintain the school website. Digital Schools sources a range of experts who provide products and/or services to educational institutions and we work with them to produce and publish topical information in the form of blog posts that we think  may be relevant, interesting or topical to families within the community. The views, opinions and content listed in this blog post are that of the guest contributor and/or publisher (Digital Schools). It should be noted that whilst the publisher and guest contributors are acting with the best intentions and in the best interests of the school and their community to provide helpful or interesting information, sometimes the content may not necessarily reflect the views of the school. The information in this blog post is not meant to be used, nor should it be used, to diagnose or treat any medical condition. For diagnosis or treatment of any medical problem, consult your own physician.  The school and the publisher of this blog post  are not responsible for any person reading or following the information in this article who may experience adverse effects. Any references to external websites or sources are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute endorsement by the school or publisher in any way and the publisher and/or school cannot guarantee accuracy of information listed. If you have feedback on any content on this platform, you can submit it to the publisher using the feedback link provided at the bottom of this page.
Digital Schools
July 15,2024
Digital Schools
July 15,2024
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