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Science Transmitting Butterfly Vision and Body Temperature: Shortwave: NPR



Monarch butterflies like this one in Temascaltepec, Mexico, use ultraviolet polarized light to help them navigate in flight.

Omar Torres / AFP on Getty Images


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Omar Torres / AFP on Getty Images

Monarch butterflies like this one in Temascaltepec, Mexico, use ultraviolet polarized light to help them navigate in flight.

Omar Torres / AFP on Getty Images

UC Irvine professor of biology and ecology Adriana Briscoe studies butterfly vision. Turns out the butterflies are really cool. For example, they could be trained to detect light of a certain color – this she did as part of her research.

Adriana also answers questions you never thought of asking, such as: Why do they let in the sun? And why are the wings of some of them “hearts”?

Also, you will never guess where their photoreceptors are.

We also discuss the importance of teachers and mentors in diversifying the STEM areas that Adriana wrote about.

Email show Email shortwave@npr.org.

This episode was created by Rebecca Ramirez and Brent Baughman, edited by Deb George, and the facts were verified by Rebecca Ramirez.


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