Why Do Butterflies Have Such Vibrant Colors and Patterns?
Colors give butterflies camouflage, which helps them avoid hungry predators.
Ask a social butterfly where she got that great dress, and she'll say, "This old thing?" and then tell you its entire history.
Ask an actual butterfly about its colorful attire, and things get a lot more complicated.
Our Weird Animal Question of the Week comes to us from National Geographic's own Angie McPherson, a volunteer at the Smithsonian Butterfly Garden in Washington, D.C.'s National Museum of Natural History. She asked, "Why does the paper kite butterfly create a gold chrysalis?" (See "New Golden Bat Adds to Animals With the Midas Touch.")
The paper kite butterfly, native to Asia, is light yellow or off-white with an elaborate pattern of swooping black lines and dots. But its chrysalis—a hard case