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My project is about butterflies. Does it hurt butterflies when you touch their wings? Why? Do they have anything special in their wings?
Question Date: 1999-02-25
Answer 1:

Well, that sounds like a fun project! I'm wondering, does your teacher have a microscope? It can be any kind of microscope. If you or your teacher does, take a look at the butterflies wings under the scope. I think you'll be surprised by what you find. Just in case you don't have a microscope, I'll give you a clue. Take a look at a butterfly wing under a bright light. Move it around. Do you see different colors? Does the wing look perfectly flat? Does it look like it has little hairs on it? After you've done this, think about what those little hairs might do. Let me know what you find, ok!

Answer 2:

It sounds like you have been working hard to find the answers to your questions.You might want to look at a butterfly's wing under a magnifying glass to see what sort of stuff rubs off when you touch it. You should be able to find a dead butterfly if you look for a while and if you don't want to kill one. Or, you might just try touching one if you can catch it and look in a magnifying glass to see what sticks. But I hope you get to look at a whole wing, because they're quite impressive when magnified.

Even better than a magnifying glass is a little microscope that looks like a box-y flashlight that you can get for about $10 ar Radio Shack, or maybe less on sale. It's a fun thing to have around for looking at all kinds of things.

Good luck with your science investigations.

Answer 3:

It's not what's in the wings, but what's on them. Butterflies are covered with scales. In fact, that's what their scientific name (lepidoptera) means: scale wing. Scales give their wings color and structure. If the scales are damaged, their wings do not work as well. Butterflies are just grown up caterpillars. They don't eat, they are just the parents of the next generation. Why do you think the adults are so different from the larvae (caterpillars)? Learn more about moths and butterflies at
:http://www.oit.itd.umich.edu/bio108/Arthropoda/Insecta/Lepidoptera.shtml
(Just cut and paste this address).

Thanks for asking,


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