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Sat 14 Dec 2019

What Butterflies’ Wing Patterns Can Teach Us About Evolution

At first, Carolina Concha and her fellow researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute worried that every mutant butterfly would die. They were attempting to deactivate a crucial wing-patterning gene known as wntA, and they aimed to make this genetic change not in just one variety of butterfly, but in 22 types. Fortunately, the mutant insects developed normally, from egg to caterpillars to chrysalises to full-fledged butterflies. And when the butterflies finally unfurled their wings, they contained a lesson in evolution—just like navigating a car through a web of city streets, there are many routes to get to the same evolutionary destination.

Source: What Butterflies’ Colorful Wing Patterns Can Teach Us About Evolution, an article by Lila Thulin.