Here’s some interesting news considering the recent buzz surrounding the Polargrizz discovery.
It seems that scientists may have mimicked evolution by breeding 2 species of butterflies to create a butterfly that almost exactly matches a 3rd butterfly species found in the wild.
Heliconius melpomene, has wings with bright red bands. (upper right of photo)
Heliconius heurippa, has BOTH yellow and red bands. This caused biologists to theorize that it may be a hybrid of the two other species. (center of photo)
Researchers then bred H. cydno and H. melpomene to see if they could recreate the look of H. heurippa. Just three generations of interbreeding later and they had themselves a critter that looked remarkably like H. heurippa.
The researchers’ findings were published in today’s issue of Nature, Speciation by hybridization in Heliconius butterflies (subscription required). National Geographic also published a story about the research, Two Butterfly Species Evolved Into Third, Study Finds.
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