Recent evidence shows that an insect resembling the modern day butterfly existed in the Jurassic age. It’s believed these Jurassic butterflies date back 40 million years and behaved in a similar manner as butterflies do now such as facilitating reproduction among flowers. A study led by Smithsonian curator Conrad Labandeira discovered a fossil of the insect in lake deposits in northeastern China and eastern Kazakhstan. These fossils shared many physical similarities with the modern day butterfly.
These species of butterflies are a great example of convergent evolution. These two species of butterflies are so distantly related, yet they independently evolve similar traits such as the patterns on their wings. This could mean the two species adapted to similar environments. This gives us insight on how our planet may have looked in the past, and understanding our planet’s past is key to preserving important species on our Earth today.
Source: Indiana University. "Discovery of 'Jurassic butterflies'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 February 2016.
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