“The story of evolution is written on butterfly wings.” -- attributed to Alfred Russel Wallace
Who doesn’t love to watch Monarch butterflies, those vivid black and orange “painted ladies” in black and orange that cheer with their color, impress with their grace and fly with no seeming effort?
As a boy in Toronto, Fred Urquhart watched these lovely creatures and wondered where they went in the winter. He grew up determined to find out.
“Flight of the Butterflies,” director Mike Slee’s stunning IMAX film now playing at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in San Diego’s Balboa Park, tells the story of this 20th-century scientific mystery and how it was eventually solved.
Part of the answer lay in tagging Monarchs in order to identify them and measure the distance they had traveled to their destination. Urquhart and his wife Norah spent years developing a tag that would work on a butterfly’s wings. When they’d solved that problem, they sent thousands of volunteers out across North America to tag the Monarchs.
It turns out that Monarchs make one of the longest migrations on Earth, first south to Texas, where Monarch caterpillars can find plenty of milkweed, their food preference. But the dry summer weather eventually drives the mature butterflies to an unknown southern hideaway for the winter. What is their ultimate destination?
It took 40 years to solve the mystery, but it will only take you 40 minutes to watch this captivating film, which uses four high-resolution image capturing technologies.
I highly recommend it.
"Flight Of The Butterflies" can be seen in IMAX at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in San Diego's Balboa Park.
Click HERE for more information, show times and tickets.