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Take the Google Earth Tour of the Monarch Migration

One of the most well-known and recognizable butterflies, especially in North America, is the Monarch butterfly, and they’re not only beautiful, they are also incredible travelers that migrate long distances every year.

The annual mass migrations of the Monarch, from eastern North America to central Mexico and from western North America to the California coast, are not quite as well known to people as their striking orange and black wings, but are no less stunning in their own right.

The Monarch is the only butterfly that migrates both north and south, as birds do, and considering their delicate nature and short lifespan, it’s simply incredible that they are successful.

Because the full round trip journey takes longer than the single life of a butterfly, it takes successive generations to come full circle, and the methods the Monarchs use to navigate along their migratory path are still not entirely clear.

Thanks to Google Earth and the Encyclopedia of Life, we can get a glimpse into what these journeys entail, and the people that help them out along their way, with this Google Earth Tour:

If you enjoyed this Google Earth Tour, you may also be interested in this one about the migration of the arctic tern, which travels from pole to pole on its journey, or this one, about invasive species.

[Image: Wikimedia Commons]

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