Long Tails May Save Luna Moths From Hungry Bats [Video]

February 16, 2015 8:39 PM

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For butterflies, distinguished wing markings can be great for confusing predatory birds, either by scaring them or by luring them away from vital body parts. Now, it turns out that moths, the nocturnal cousins of the butterfly, may use a similar strategy to deflect attacks. But since moths’ predators rely more on sound than sight, some moth species seem to create acoustic signatures that confuse bats.

Trailing behind its hindwings, the luna moth has two tails that extend for about an inch and a half. For a while, scientists weren't really sure what purpose they served, since the moths can fly fine even with the tails removed. Back in 1903, one scientist proposed that the tails might serve as a di...

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