14 March 2010

Kallima butterfly camouflage

It just staggers the mind to see what several million years of evolution can produce.  The dorsal sides of the wings are strikingly different, btw.

Photo credit to murraysmom, posted in the Butterfly Garden forum at Gardenweb (I highly recommend the forum for those interested in butterflies).


  1. Not being an evolutionary biologist, nor a biologist of any sort, for that matter, I came up with a sort of theory relating to the differences of the sides of the wings. Essentially, the ventral sides are obviously for camouflage, while the dorsal sides are for mate-attracting, as in other butterflies. Thus, the longer the kallima shows his mating side, the longer he remains to be seen by predators, thereby demonstrating himself as bold and brave, and a desirable mate.

  2. I find this picture fascinating, especially when compared to the dorsal side.

  3. That is incredible! Evolution is brilliant.

  4. yeah...it's amazing what evolution guided by a divine intelligence can produce!

  5. Yes, "evolution" is brilliant. One of these days will krill evolve and begin feeding on whales?

    Why is it that "evolution" never destroys the food chain? They somehow make themselves superior but always keep the balance.

    A contained butterfly may lack the intelligence to keep from incessantly flying himself into his glass walls, but has the insight to evolve camouflage ventral wings for protection and brightly colored dorsal wings possibly for mating?

    Because the evolution process takes "millions of years" this also means he has the consideration to think of the billions of future generations he will be helping. Seeing as his current mutation will not assist in his own lifetime.

    Maybe he thinks about these things while thoughtlessly, repeatedly, flying into the glass?

    "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results"

    Theory is a theory.

  6. Stephan - you need to read Darwin. Random mutation and natural selection. The butterfly doesn't need "insight" to mutate over millions of years. The random mutations that assist in survival of the particular life form are themselves passed down and thus survive. And what makes you say evolution has never destroyed a food chain?

  7. Stephan, you are sadly misinformed about how evolution occurs. It does NOT require any intelligence. Or insight. Or foresight. It does not require any planning or thinking. It does not even require a brain.

    And it does not require millions of years.

  8. Not at all misinformed, that is entirely my point.

    Intelligence, insight, and foresight are not at all attributes required, yet it is not a supernatural occurrence?

    We describe evolution as "brilliant" yet intellect is not in any way a piece of the equation?

    It doesn't require millions of years, that's only what is sputtered when there are no links to previous mutations.

    No one argues that small levels of "evolution" or mutation occur. Prime examples are the Galapagos birds, where the different beak sizes were superior, and continued breeding from the stronger, more successful birds containing superior beaks produced larger beaks on their offspring. (Excuse my run-on sentences).

    This does not explain a mutation from four-legged reptile, to a two legged, feathered flying reptile.

    I have two Sphynx that exist as a breed simply because of a hairless mutation that was continually bred. These mutations went from hair, to no hair. Not hair, to a scale, or warm blooded, to cold blooded.

    Again, no one is denying mutations occur that occasional benefit their host, however, they more frequently cause the host to die in the wild, like an albino that normally would depend on camouflage.

  9. "Intelligence, insight, and foresight are not at all attributes required, yet it is not a supernatural occurrence?"

    That is correct. Not required, and not supernatural.

    "...intellect is not in any way a piece of the equation?"

    That is correct. If you want to learn about how this works, you might try seeking out the writing of Stephen J. Gould.


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