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Decoding the Great Monarch Butterfly Migration

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 Biology   |   Environmental   |   Science
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The monarch butterfly migration is one of nature’s greatest events. This orange-winged wonder travels up to 4,500 km from all over North America to spend the winter hanging from oyamel fir trees in central Mexico’s mountain forests. I got to go there. Seeing tens of millions of butterflies dangling from the treetops is a truly breathtaking sight. But how does an animal with a brain the size of a poppy seed navigate to this one special place, especially since the last monarchs to make the trip lived 4 or 5 generations earlier? Get ready for an amazing story of science, instinct, and navigation. #nature #monarchbutterfly #migration

Special thanks to:
Dr. Steven Reppert - UMass Medical School
Atlas Obscura: @atlasobscura
Jason Goldman: @jgold85
Phil Torres: @phil_torres

Filmed on location at:
La Reserva de Biosfera de la Mariposa Monarca - Michoacán, Mexico
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, Texas

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Guerra, P. A., & Reppert, S. M. (2013). Coldness triggers northward flight in remigrant monarch butterflies. Current Biology, 23(5), 419-423.

Reppert, S. M., Zhu, H., & White, R. H. (2004). Polarized light helps monarch butterflies navigate. Current Biology, 14(2), 155-158.

Reppert, S. M., Guerra, P. A., & Merlin, C. (2016). Neurobiology of monarch butterfly migration. Annual review of entomology, 61, 25-42.

Reppert, S. M., & de Roode, J. C. (2018). Demystifying monarch butterfly migration. Current Biology, 28(17), R1009-R1022.

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