Butterfliesby Dick Vane-Wright
With dazzling wing patterns and vibrant colors, butterflies catch the attention of gardeners, hikers, and anyone with an eye for beauty. Even the casual observer can't help but stop and admire them as they float through the air. Indeed, their well-known journey through life-from egg to caterpillar to cocoon to butterfly-has fascinated children and adults alike for centuries. In Butterflies, scientist Dick Vane-Wright reveals the lives of these familiar creatures, exposing a world that is more complex and interesting than we had ever imagined. Using examples from around the world, Vane-Wright begins the book with a discussion of their life cycle, charting development from egg to adult, and then moves into the truly amazing act of metamorphosis-the changes inside the caterpillar that create a butterfly. He then explores the diversity of butterflies, which number some 20,000 species, and explains why there are so many variations, particularly in the colors and patterns of their wings. The mystery of their migrations is revealed by following the travels of the North American monarch, which summers as far north as Canada but winters in Mexico and southern California. Accompanied by beautiful color photographs, Butterflies helps us understand what the future holds for these delicate creatures as they face changing environments in the modern world. In the end, Butterflies leaves us still marvelling at their beauty but understanding them as never before.
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