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Aerodynamic of a butterfly

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Well-known member
Nov 25, 2001
I just watched a butterfly this morning break out of his cocoon, sit in the sun and dry his wings by flapping them.(In my front yard, I live in Florida) The wings unfurled all wet but has he flapped them back and fourth they unfolded to these huge wings. I figured the L/D must be fantastic, suddenly he just "took-off" and flew away no flight training or anything.My brother raises bees in Tenn., he said he moves the bee hive that it mess's up the internal refrence system of the bee and he just return's to where the hive used to be and circle's till he dies. Amazing stuff. Does anyone know the exact aerodynamic of a butterfly? What makes them fly? There wings look like tissue paper.
Not unemployed just having a day off, that was before I got my first cup of coffee. Felt just like it used to back in the 60's, maybe I was having a flashback.
You're not on drugs, you just happened to notice something pretty f---ing amazing this morning. After learning to fly, I developed a serious interest in birds and basically anything else that can move through the air. When you start looking the first thing you notice is how much better they fly than we do. In any case, little paper-winged butterflys are pretty amazing. The Monarch butterfly( your basic orange and black one) migrates from the northern U.S. down to Mexico every year. All that way on those tissue-like wings. Pretty cool, huh? There are other insects which have sonar jamming capabilities to keep them from being eaten by bats. Do a web search on insect or bird flight, you'll be amazed. Ever see a dragonfly hover, how about a Kingfisher. Go well and be nice to living things.
Ok, I'll play...

The last paragraph describes the butterflies pre-take off check list, and you thought you had a a tough preflight.

Someone else will have to come up with the flight and landing info.

From the www:

The Egg

Every butterfly starts its life as an egg.
But before its parents must mate. Female butterflies can store male gametes in the "corpus bursae". From this sperm-storing organ they can fertilize the eggs one by one. To lay their eggs some species just drop them during the flight, but the species that specialized in a feeding plant have to select the plants for their eggs more carefully. The female identifies the plant with taste sensors. If the plant is suitable, it sticks its egg(s) directly on or under the leaf. A female can lay up to 1500 eggs during her lifetime.
Butterflies’ eggs are very small and mostly white, green, yellow or brown. As the animal inside develops, the egg's color changes. There is a large variety of shapes besides round and oval. The egg's surface is often structured with grooves, net patterns or thorns. The size of butterfly eggs varies from 0.008 to 0.1 inches (0.2 to 3 mm), depending on the species.
The Caterpillar

The time until the caterpillar will hatch can be 3 days up to a whole winter. When it is ready to hatch, it bites a hole in the egg and comes out. Afterwards, the eggshell made of a rich fat-protein compound forms its first meal. Then it continues feeding to store energy because as a pupa it won’t be able to eat any more. As they are nearly always eating, caterpillars grow very fast. So they must cast their chitin skin 4 to 5 times. This way some caterpillars change their appearance.
The elastic skin contains stretch receptors sending signals to the brains when the skin is strtched to its maximum. The brains send the molting hormone ecdyson and the hormon juvenile into the bloodstream. Then a new caterpillar skin will develop. If only ecdyson is available, a pupa skin will develop. This happens when the caterpillar has grown enough. The hormone production is influenced by extern and intern factors.
The period as a caterpillar varies from one month to three years, depending on the nourishment. Caterpillars feeding on nutrient-low things like wood need more time to get the energy they need for the change into a butterfly.
Silk plays a big role in a caterpillar’s life. Every caterpillar can produce silk, some of them a lot, others less. The silk thread helps the caterpillar to move on slippery surfaces. It is also a security rope if the caterpillar falls off the leaf. Additionally, it is used to cover the inside of "mines" in leafs and for protection.
The Chrysalis

When the pupal skin is revealed, it is still soft but hardens soon. The dermal cells of a caterpillar, chrysalis and butterfly are all the same.
In the pupal stage great changes take place inside.
Hormones cause the change of the body into a butterfly’s one. Larval characteristics are dissolved chemically and the characteristics of a butterfly develop. The time needed to do this depends on the species, it amounts at least one week or several months if the pupa hibernates. It can take up to seven years. The time also depends a lot from the climate.
Pupae of the different species look very different, some hang from a twig, others stand, held by a kind of belt or dig a hole in the ground.
The Butterfly

When the development is finished, the pupa’s skin breaks and an adult butterfly pulls out its body. Hanging on a twig it pumps haemolymph into the veins of its crumpled wings to expand them. Then it rests for some time to give them time to harden. The hardening is caused by the hormone bursicon. When the wings have hardened, the animal pulls the haemolymph out of the wings. After about one hour, the butterfly flutters into a new period of its life that includes propagating to form the circle of life.
The average lifetime of an adult butterfly or moth is 2-4 weeks if the animal doesn’t hibernate.
CCCCCCCCCOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL man!!!!!!!! Considering that I just watched the last paragraph this morning that is amazing. My wife was reading that the butterflies migrate in a clound 3 miles long and 1/2 mile wide. Does this mean we wipe out the species if we fly a 777 through it???? OUCH;)

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