Butterfly evolution from jungles to genomes

Get closer to the beautiful Heliconius butterflies in the highlights of a Twitter Q&A with Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2014 exhibitors Dr Chris Jiggins and Dr John Davey, from University of Cambridge.

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  1. Taking a break from chasing butterflies in the tropics, Chris and John hosted a fascinating discussion on butterfly evolution, intermingled with mystery caterpillars, moth fossils, colour vision in birds, and what butterflies possibly have in common with Neanderthals. 
  2. A good question to open the chat from @IlseHoward about wing patterning in butterflies.
  3. The bright bold colours of butterfly wings tell predators that some butterflies are distasteful prey. "But as birds can see more colours than humans, does this mean butterfly wings have patterns we can't see?" asked @jjcrazi.
  4. So which came first?
  5. @FordRuth wanted to know where our intrepid butterfly experts had travelled in search of butterflies.
  6. This led to an interesting discussion about butterfly evolution and migration.
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