Monarch butterflies can be found throughout the world, although only in North America they make a magnificent mass migration. The researcher have sequenced 90 butterfly genomes, and discovered that there is only one gene which is responsible for the capability of butterflies to migrate long distances like marathoners. The study findings propose that the monarch butterflies are evolved with more efficient muscles that help them to fly so far.
A recent genetic analysis published this week in the Nature journal stating that the intimates of the contemporary monarchs initially dispersed out North America, instead of central or South America, as formerly believed.
However, Marcus Kronforst, University of Chicago’s biologist confesses that he along with his fellow colleagues firstly discovered evolutionary proofs hard to accept. He stated in his interview with BBC News, “It really took lots of convincing,” though, the findings portray how genetics could elaborate the origins of a species’ traits on a level far more fundamental than, say, Rudyard Kipling’s “Just So Stories,” said the University of Exeter’s Richard H. ffrench-Constant.
H. ffrench-Constant (not involved in the project), stated in a Nature journal; “Butterflies are leading a revival in our understanding of the molecular basis of natural selection.”
Different patterns of alteration in genomes are analyzed by researchers to conclude that North American butterflies are nearby to their ancestral roots of evolutionary tree.
The researchers assumed that, the travelling Monarchs originated in Central or South America, and established themselves in North America. But the latest proof indicates that, the species got its start in Southern United States or Mexico, perhaps 1 million to 2 million years ago, said by Kronforst.
The butterflies most likely to followed a short range traveling pattern. The researchers says that, North American population began to expand about 20,000 years ago, at the end of the Last Glacial Maximum, when butterflies could more readily spread on milkweed crowd plants in the American Midwest.