Butterflies will soon be fluttering by again. Some - such as the giant Monarch butterflies - will have returned from their winter habitats in central Mexico. Others, who were caterpillars last fall, will emerge from their cocoons.
But how well do you know these wispy-winged creatures? Try to answer these questions.
What does a butterfly do to keep warm?
a) crawl back into a cocoon
b) fly back to Mexico
c) flap its wings quickly to generate heat
d) spend time in the sun
Butterflies are cold-blooded creatures. Unlike warm-blooded mammals (including humans), they have no internal "furnace" to keep them warm. So, if it's cold outside, the butterflies are cold, too. But they have to warm up their wings before they can fly. To do so they sit in direct sunlight. (Some keep their wings closed, others leave them open.) On cloudy days you're not likely to see a butterfly fluttering by.
What time do butterflies make their first flight of the day?
a) whenever they want to
b) as soon as the sun rises
c) around 8 a.m.
d) not until noon
Butterflies are very regular about their daily routines. They like to get going early, taking to the air around 8 a.m. (daylight saving time, of course). And they only search for food during certain hours, which vary depending on the species.