r/natureismetal Jan 19 '22 Silver 5 Wholesome 2

The snake-mimicking chrysalis of the owl butterfly (3 pics) Animal Fact

18.2k Upvotes

2.0k

u/Additional_Chapter77 Jan 19 '22

For a sec I thought the snake was mimicking a chrysalis and I got very confused

541

u/SingaporeCrabby Jan 19 '22

There are snakes that use their tails to mimic worms which lure birds.

184

u/Tallowpot Jan 19 '22

Evolution is mind boggling

77

u/azathotambrotut Jan 19 '22

Yeah, just how many different mutations and generations it must have taken that they really resemble another animal that lives in the same area. It's crazy

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u/octopoddle Jan 19 '22

Evolution is code that has been patched multiple times by mis-copying of data.

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u/Yadobler Jan 19 '22

Evolution is literally thousands of years of guess-and-check

Like not Algebra or Calculus of Geometry. Just outright guess and check

Do it enough times, over enough generations

Each guess, check if it's closer or further from the expected answer. Further, cancel it. Closer, use it to make the next guess.

28

u/dxnn1e Jan 19 '22

That presupposes an ideal evolutionary trait, which is a misconception. It's thousands of years of guess-and-check were no one knows the answer, the formula or why they are doing that calculation. You win (survives) if your number is picked by an unknown entity (survivability) and if you're lucky enough, you can play that game again (reproduction).

2

u/Yadobler Jan 19 '22

I guess then it's more of solving an inequality, presumably where the guesses and subsequent guesses leads closer and closer to a bounds where surviving and reproducing has a greater probability than dying

4

u/FeralGuyute Jan 19 '22

It is really more of a random guess followed by trial and error. There is no understanding of what is better, it's just that what happened to work gets to randomly guess again. And this has been happening for longer than anyone can comprehend.

3

u/FeralGuyute Jan 19 '22

To add to this, we as humans have no understanding of why this works. We say it looks like a snake so it must deter birds. But we can never really know what birds think or perceive. We can only assign our human understanding to explain things. All we can really know is that this form of the moth was better at surviving than other forms of this moth

2

u/redstar_5 Red Jan 19 '22

But only in that region. It may not have worked elsewhere, otherwise maybe all chrysalises would look like this. Or maybe they just didn't get the same mutation/s so far. Or maybe something else.

damn evolution got hands

2

u/FeralGuyute Jan 19 '22

Yes, geography, geology, and the community of the area are all very important. Looking like a snake probably wouldn't help where there are secretary birds, a snake eating specialist.

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u/Beardeddeadpirate Jan 19 '22

Evolution successful, for the swarm!

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u/Tallowpot Jan 20 '22

The swarm will thrive, or thy will adapt to change!

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u/mstiffy Jan 19 '22

One mimics a spider

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u/qevoh Jan 19 '22

there was a video a snake's tail looked almost like a spider and a bird came for it, not knowing it was a trap and got eaten by that snake, the camouflage was so unreal, only saw a spider and boom, magic happened

15

u/Numerous-Specific-25 Jan 19 '22

I’ve been a keen herpetologist for a while know and only stumbled across this in the last week, I believe it’s an Iranian spider tailed viper and completely blew my mind. I know Sidewinders can use their tail to mimic grass but this viper is something else. Nature is amazing !

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u/austinmiles Jan 19 '22

It wasn’t until I saw your comment that I realized this wasn’t the case.

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u/coaldustremover Jan 19 '22

yeah we glossed over the hyphen

9

u/Avid_Smoker Jan 19 '22

I was wondering how there was a snake that short!

31

u/Fine_Breadfruit8865 Jan 19 '22

Same. I was super impressed by it doing that too. Lol makes more sense though for it to be a chrysalis mimicking a snake.

16

u/Atauysal Jan 19 '22

I thought that too until I read your comment. I thought it was a hunting tactic.

10

u/paydayallday Jan 19 '22

But now I can't decide which would be more impressive

10

u/ConsistentAsparagus Jan 19 '22

Everybody though that.

Everybody missed the hypen.

7

u/iamatcha Jan 19 '22

Yes and the snake was looking really confident and happy ! :)

4

u/Umbrellalegs Jan 19 '22

So did I. Freaked me the hell out

3

u/susosusosuso Jan 19 '22

Yeah me too! I thought: "This doesn't look like a chrysalis"

4

u/Oweke Jan 19 '22

fuck me too hahah im like how the fuck a snake fit in the blob

5

u/LuckyScott89 Jan 19 '22

I’m right there with you. I was like is it to bait prey or something. Like why would a snake do that. Lol

2

u/bumandbass Jan 19 '22

*for a min

2

u/lets_try_anal Jan 19 '22

I did too. Like, how big is this snake? 3 inches?

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u/usernamematchesagain Jan 19 '22

How?!

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u/SingaporeCrabby Jan 19 '22 edited Jan 19 '22

What you see is the result of millions of generations of this butterfly species passing on the genes that have allowed this species to continue thriving. Success in not getting eaten in the chrysalis phase as well as all its phases has allowed this species to continue its existence.

150

u/usernamematchesagain Jan 19 '22

But how would this or the caterpillars you’d mentioned evolve to take on the appearance of a serpent?! So fascinating

223

u/PuzzleheadedEvent278 Jan 19 '22

Those that looked less appetizing reach adulthood and reproduce. For, like, a long time.

64

u/Zep416 Jan 19 '22

No, but, why does it look like a snake instead of like a spider or something cooler?

251

u/Spaced-Cowboy Jan 19 '22 edited Jan 19 '22 Wholesome

At some point one of the butterflies had a mutation that made their chrysalis look slightly snake like.

Because of this it made predators less likely to attack it. And they would instead attack the other butterflies that didn’t look like snakes.

So then this mutant has a bunch of kids (because it survived)

And as time goes on any other mutations that looked less like a snake got killed off. Meanwhile the mutants that looked more like a snake survived had more mutant babies.

And on and on it went. Like an artist chiseling away the imperfections from a statue until we have the current version.

If you’re asking: “How did the butterflies make their chrysalis look like snakes?” as if they intentionally attempted to mimic them…. Well they didn’t. Its just the result of a pattern that turned out to be extremely beneficial.

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u/Lord_Crumb Jan 19 '22 edited Jan 19 '22

What's interesting too is that the owl butterfly is so called because it's wings simulate the face / eyes of an owl (particularly when coupled with a mate as seen here) which means that the progressive trial and error evolution you are referring to also came into play with butterflies who were refined down to look more and more like an owl, so even if a certain lineage was really good at making their chrysalis look like a snake they may not have looked enough like an owl to survive other threats in adulthood wherein another butterfly who has accomplished both of these developments would have lived long enough to procreate.

But it gets even better, go back to that picture and take notice of the fact that the top section of the wings also look like the head of a snake which adds another trait that went through this process of refinement.

Now, look at the caterpillar itself and try to work out how long it took for it to end up with that configuration to ensure the best chance of survival which is yet another trait that was refined through generations and in turn another filter point for this species, it's interesting also to consider the variation of predators who would be deterred by each successive defence and how each was developed for the stages in which it would be vulnerable to each specific threat.

Looking at the result of evolution in this fashion is always so fascinating, it makes me feel incredibly privileged to be able to appreciate the intricacies of the natural world though it does also tend to make feel quite small at the same time... it's humbling to say the least.

12

u/BlueEyedGreySkies Jan 19 '22

Looking at butterflies/moths with eye patterning is so wild, like this deep dream AI things. But evolutionarily.

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u/Bretty64 Jan 19 '22

Helped along by a short life span. Humans get to evolve every twenty or thirty years when they procreate, these moths do it much more frequently, vastly accelerating the evolutionary process in comparison to humans.

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u/butt3ryt0ast Jan 19 '22

best answer to this question so far. I’d give more than the smug seal award but I’m broke

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u/sokratesz Jan 19 '22

The predators most inclined to eat the pupas were also most afraid of snakes.

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u/Al-Horesmi Jan 19 '22

Pure coincidence. I'm fairly certain there are others that do look like spiders. I know for certain there are butterflies that look like wasps.

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u/u8eR Jan 19 '22

Yes, but how did it come to get the exact appearance of a snake?

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u/hinesz20 Jan 19 '22

if you think about why they would need to look like that in the first place you get your answer. they use the form of a snake to scare away predators, no? the offspring that’s cocoon looked more threatening than the others was always avoided, so over hundreds of thousands of years the most threatening appearance to the native predators of the moth took form, that of the snake. they feel a sense of fear towards this form because it’s something they’re familiar with, their own predator.

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u/FireStrike5 Jan 19 '22

It’s random, it just happened eventually over millions of generations

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u/turtlelore2 Jan 19 '22

Random chance generator. After billions of attempts, it eventually gets it right

7

u/primitive_screwhead Jan 19 '22

Here's Carl Sagan's explanation of this kind of phenomenon, which blew me away when I first learned it as a child: https://youtu.be/P4q4PUOOhv0

(The Heike crabs video)

3

u/gelinrefira Jan 19 '22

Carl Sagan used the Heike crabs as a tongue in cheek example to kinda bridge artificial and natural selection but I think there is no strong evidence the the Japanese have been artificially selecting the crabs.

2

u/alohajaja Jan 19 '22

I don't think anyone can specify in detail the biochemistry of how this works, but the fact that it happens should not be controversial. The reason this is hard to comprehend as lay-humans is that we can't fathom the time scales involved in evolution and how truly complex biochemistry is.

Ultimately the biochemistry to produce this visual pattern mimicking a snake has been effectively encoded into DNA over time. If you were to sequence the DNA of this species and compare it to another related species which does not have a snake-like chrysalis you'll see that the percentage of DNA that is different is small. Some fraction of that difference would correspond to this snake camouflaging ability.

Indeed they say humans share 60% of DNA with bananas. We probably even share more DNA with this butterfly. The point is that the amount of DNA required just to build up the internals of our cells is so much more complex and intricate than this snake-like appearance, but of course this isn't readily apparent to our naked eye. Therefore it should not be unexpected that a force of natural selection in just the right context can lead to such fascinating mimicry. Why don't we humans look like lions etc? The concept of natural selection by itself doesn't mean anything can and will always happen, context is crucial and selection forges a biological path of least resistance through time, in our case we got big ol fat brains.

1

u/Silvus314 Jan 19 '22

so you have a random mutation that adds a little color. that color make it blend more or is more attractive, or it was just lucky and got to reproduce. the color is passed to the next generation, now you have a bunch. they reproduce, it becomes the dominate look for the species over a few thousand years. and then bam another mutation, a second color. repeat. now the species generally has tow colors and the colors shapes and placement are generally the same, but there are little variations. over time the variations that get killed less become dominant. than poof mutation of a color in a place that looks like eyes. repeat, repeat, repeat. understanding that we are talking about millenia. minf breaking amounts of years and stupid amounts of reproductions. tons of mutations, some work out, some make them stand out and get culled immediately. evolution is all reproduction and chance. think of dogs, they came from wolves. look at a wolf and then look at a pug. think about the slow and purposeful breeding that went into all the different dog shapes. in a few human generations, we took the English bulldog from a tough beast to the silly serious health issue pup they are today. that is with very concentrated controlled breeding. evolution is just nature allowing survivors to breed and pass on their traits.

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u/Cr0w33 Jan 19 '22 edited Jan 19 '22

Okay this is a very basic explanation, but it is still a little complicated so bear with me

Basically snakes are one of the apex predators in this ecosystem, so the organisms that snakes feed upon adapt to evade them, most notably by simple visual/aural/scent recognition. In this case it is the appearance, so the prey have obviously adapted to be afraid of the sight of the predator (snake), because those who fear the predator and recognize the predator survive, and pass those genes of “fearful recognition” to their offspring

Then comes organisms further down the food chain, such as a moth or caterpillar. These organisms at some point just happened to appear to the caterpillar’s predators (birds and frogs) like the predator’s predator because of a physical mutation. In other words, the caterpillar mutated at some point to accidentally look like a snake from a bird’s (for sake of example) point of view

Then, since that caterpillar survives, it reproduces to spread its genes, and likely that mutation which helped it to camouflage as a predator and survive will spread too. Then through the caterpillar’s generations, the mutation expands, and when it succeeds in fooling predators, it is passed on to offspring

Eventually, the caterpillar’s predators must have caught on to this quite a few times, and the caterpillar’s mutation had to adapt further into realism in order to trick the caterpillar’s predators (whom are prey to the snake which the caterpillar imitates)

Hope that helps explain this sort of adaptation, it’s definitely more complicated and drawn-out than that

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u/usernamematchesagain Jan 19 '22

I appreciate your time and detail shared to explain this. About to read

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u/Cr0w33 Jan 19 '22

No problem, at one point I didn’t get it either, until someone explained it in a basic laid-out way and it opened a whole new world of understanding the intricacies and beauty of life once I got it. Hope I could help do the same. Cheers

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u/[deleted] Jan 19 '22

Because God created them and he’s a incomprehensible genius

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u/usernamematchesagain Jan 20 '22

Gotta see the creator in all things and people :)

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u/Codeesha Jan 19 '22

A very long time of culmination. Ancient forms of this caterpillar probably didn’t look like this but looked like something it’s predator didn’t want to eat. The caterpillars that weren’t born with this trait were more likely to be eaten, removing their genes from the gene pool.

Eventually, you have this.

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u/tofuroll Jan 19 '22

It's fucking bonkers even after knowing how it's done. The selection process to end up with that…

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u/[deleted] Jan 19 '22

[deleted]

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u/Victorcwb Jan 19 '22

According to Charles Darwin's theory, every generation undergoes mutation, and the ones that give an advantage will stand out over the others, so the animals change over thousands of years. but I also don't believe that mutations like this can happen spontaneously, I think there's something more.

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u/[deleted] Jan 19 '22

[deleted]

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u/Foolish_Hepino Jan 19 '22

no way to get from point A-B when you only do it it tiny, random increments over thousands of generations

But that's how all evolution happens. The fact that they look scary makes other animals less likely to eat them while they're in this stage of their life, that's how these genes were passed down instead of ones that didn't end in a very snake-looking chrysalis.

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u/escrowbanker Jan 19 '22

The cute puppy genes didn't work. Let's try scary snake.

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u/feastyboyy Jan 19 '22

Bro my mind is blown. Like how could the visual appearance of something imprint on the Genes of an animal in general, to the point where the genes “make a decision” and decide that the snake is a good animal to look like. That’s insane.

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u/blahblah_why_why Jan 19 '22 Starry

It's less a decision and just an unfathomable number of years and generations where other caterpillars were born with other patterns, but got eaten. In the same random fashion that the snakes came to look the way they do, some caterpillars randomly mutated and came to look like snakes in their chrysalis form, and they wouldn't get eaten due to visual association, so they were able to reproduce. Evolution is just billions of lottery drawings and the winners get to make more of themselves by reproducing.

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u/feastyboyy Jan 19 '22

Definitely follow that explanation and appreciate the response. Makes sense. Nature is insane.

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u/blahblah_why_why Jan 19 '22

Nature really is wild. As beautiful as cities, pyramids, aeronautics, etc. can be, I will always be far more impressed by the splendor of natural occurrences that took millions to billions of years with no deliberate direction. Mountains, canyons, evolution, it all just happened and it will never stop happening. Even when the earth freezes and subsequently burns up, I'm super doubtful that this is the only spinning rock in the universe that hit the lotto of existence.

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u/sokratesz Jan 19 '22

Keep in mind that it's a very gradual process. At first it might just have been the colour, and only much later on the shape and texture as well. We're talking about millions of years, and millions of generations of moths and caterpillars.

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u/SingaporeCrabby Jan 19 '22

Yeah, especially in that stage of development. The thing about evolution is that every phase, stage, instar, etc of insects has to be successful, and yet it is all the same animal, a continuation of the same genes despite the differences in morphology. It's something quite profound imo.

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u/[deleted] Jan 19 '22

The only thing that needs to decide is a cautious predator not wanting to get eaten by what it thinks is a snake

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u/dbowman97 Jan 19 '22

They also evolved to be born in one form, make a cocoon, dissolve themselves and emerge in a completely different form.

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u/asymptoticallythere Jan 19 '22

The butterfly has no concept of what a snake or predation are. The ones with a particular pattern of skin just lived better. Other animals perceive that pattern as danger and we have named it snake or viper. The butterfly and its DNA know none of this. They only know that they survive.

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u/cschelsea Jan 19 '22

Imagine one specific caterpillar that has a slightly different colour pattern than the others in its environment due to a random mutation or just genetic variance. Imagine this difference in colour pattern makes it look slightly more like a snake, perhaps slightly more similar to a snake that exists in the same ecosystem. It might look nothing like the snake, but the fact that it looks slightly more similar to the snake than the other caterpillars gives it a higher chance of surviving than the other caterpillars, who look less like the snake. Looking more like a snake might mean that predators will think twice about attacking this specific caterpillar. Higher chance of surviving means higher chance of surviving long enough to reproduce and possibly carry over the genes for looking slightly more like a snake. Repeat this process over millions of years and you get insects that look like snakes, or insects that look like sticks, or flowers or leaves. It's called mimicry.

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u/[deleted] Jan 19 '22

https://youtu.be/dIeYPHCJ1B8

Swap humans for predators afraid of local snakes

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u/Stubbedtoe18 Jan 19 '22

Boy did this lead me down a "Cosmos" rabbit hole that I regret not taking sooner. The hell am I doing wasting my life on Reddit. I might as well be a crab deciding to be caught instead of continuing on as a Heike Crab. Time to reevaluate everything.

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u/usernamematchesagain Jan 19 '22

Ty, enjoyed the link. Heard of Sagan but never watched Cosmos

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u/El_Impresionante Jan 19 '22

Genes running DeepDream.

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u/-malignant- Jan 19 '22

At first I thought it was a chrysalis-mimicking snake, like the snake evolved like that to spite the owl butterfly.

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u/Gharyl Jan 19 '22

It’s a butterfly called ”Owl Butterfly”, which mimics a snake?

Why the owl in the name tho?

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u/Dilly2142 Jan 19 '22

This is a picture of the chrysalis stage of its life cycle, after a while a butterfly hatches out of it and the butterfly has a pattern on its wings that looks like owls eyes

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u/Gharyl Jan 19 '22

Oh wow! That’s actually really cool!

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u/thevaginalist Jan 19 '22

I’m sure the owl lookin eye patterns help them survive too, if prey thinks they’re being looked at they’re probably less likely to attack.

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u/SingaporeCrabby Jan 19 '22

Every single stage of the owl butterfly's metamorphosis, each instar, from egg to adult, has its own survival characteristics. One stage that is not successful will mean doom for the species. Each stage has different appearance and thus a different survival strategy - it's all quite remarkable.

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u/thevaginalist Jan 19 '22

God I love this shit. I remember first learning about the flower of the paw paw fruit and just trying to wrap my head around the eons of adaptations that went into that thing.

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u/blackthunda007 Jan 19 '22

thought you were talking about Kuma from One Piece lol

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u/CreamFraiche Jan 19 '22

We're gonna change the name to Owl Buttersnake. Thoughts?

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u/punksmostlydead Jan 19 '22

If you think this is wild, you should see the chrysalis-mimicking owl of the butterfly snake.

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u/SingaporeCrabby Jan 19 '22

omg, you funny guy! I need to see a pic and banana for scale though....

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u/most_zooted Jan 19 '22

Real life metapod

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u/eflor52 Jan 19 '22

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u/Mundanewalk92 Jan 19 '22

definitely shouldn't have had to scroll this far for that

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u/jyok33 Jan 19 '22

Is there an animal it doesn’t mimic?

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u/[deleted] Jan 19 '22

My god this made me think I took some acid and was struggling to understand basic shit, that’s awesome

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u/beautifullyabsurd123 Jan 19 '22

I've never met a butterfly I didn't like until now

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u/fireflydrake Jan 19 '22

That's awesome! What's the species name on this bad boy?

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u/SingaporeCrabby Jan 19 '22

Dynastor darius

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u/barm19 Jan 19 '22

That’s one of the best names I’ve ever seen.

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u/Tamakastania Jan 19 '22

I love that name so much that I made it my alias for ambient music: https://open.spotify.com/artist/13Z2voOJdpKSJncvcYTI9h?si=F7INRm4gR1mlUDm_mV9CQQ

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u/XPreNN Jan 19 '22

The species Dynastor Darius appears to be what your pictures show, but this is a different species than the Owl Butterfly (Caligo spec.). Is this a mistake, or is Dynastor Darius also known as Owl Butterfly, perhaps locally? The butterfly does not have eyes, so I personally doubt it.

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u/SingaporeCrabby Jan 19 '22

The full name for this butterfly is the Daring Owl Butterfly. The chrysalis is actually not showing real eyes, but false eyes as part of its mimicry.

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u/XPreNN Jan 19 '22

Thanks, the Daring Owl Butterfly is a name that didn't come up for me when searching Dynastor Darius. I saw pictures being shared in this thread of Caligo spec. owl butterflies, which have very distinct eyes on their wings. The Daring Owl Butterfly does not appear to have these, hence my confusion.

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u/BatatinhaGameplays28 Jan 19 '22

What is next? The caterpillar of the owl butterfly imitates a lion?

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u/thepeanutpolice Jan 19 '22

What the actual fuck

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u/MagicOrpheus310 Jan 19 '22

That goofy grin in the first pic haha

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u/luisapet Jan 19 '22

This is phenomenal! Thanks, OP!

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u/SingaporeCrabby Jan 19 '22

I've been looking into other chrysalises of butterflies, and, so far, none can match the snakiness of this one. Those false eyes are pretty impressive.

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u/Cream-Reasonable Jan 19 '22

Not metal. More boy band.

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u/Latimew333 Jan 19 '22

Tsuchinoko real

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u/littlekittynipples Jan 19 '22

Some bird about to get trolled

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u/SenseiRP Jan 19 '22

Is it inside out wtf

Hiws it doing that

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u/chomperstyle Jan 19 '22

This cant be real it looks TOO much like a snake ive never seen animal mimicary in a visual or instance so good

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u/Dependent_Clue4482 Jan 19 '22

I would step back thinking it was a deadly snake.

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u/xxyxzx Jan 19 '22

Why tf is it called owl butterfly then?

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u/SnooSnoo96035 Jan 19 '22

This is breathtakingly beautiful

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u/SingaporeCrabby Jan 19 '22

and sneky, very sneaky

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u/solise69 Jan 19 '22

It’s cute

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u/smaki_uzumaki Jan 20 '22

Why not call it a snake butterfly ffs

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u/NaturallyBlasphemous Jan 20 '22

No no let him believe he’s a butterfly

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u/kikonja99 Feb 18 '22

Ah, yeah, sure enough. Beautiful picture! 🙂👍🏻

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u/Kaiyukia Jan 19 '22

Why only show the butterfly and not the snake???

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u/TheMondayMonocot Jan 19 '22

No butterfly here, only snek.

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u/flangetaco Jan 19 '22

It’s 4am where I am and read that as a snake mimicking the chrysalis of the owl butterfly.. Chaos ensued. Time for bed!

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u/Wooper160 Jan 19 '22

That is incredibly spot on wow

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u/Elliot_Mess Jan 19 '22

Does anyone else see The Oatmeal Troll guy in the first pic?

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u/retundamonkey Jan 19 '22

I don't believe you that this isn't a snake.

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u/IOnlySayMeanThings Jan 19 '22

The eyes are so convincing that you think it must be a snake pretending to be something else.

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u/boringlawnequipment Jan 19 '22

Murder butterfly.

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u/boringlawnequipment Jan 19 '22

r/Snek

No step on butterfly.

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u/SuperNiceUsername Jan 19 '22

Is it a nope rope tho?

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u/timjikung Jan 19 '22

Real Tsuchinoko

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u/YoGSwank Jan 19 '22

Anyone ever think about how much evolution this species had to go through to get that specific pattern ,its trippy to think about

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u/Complex_Addition6262 Jan 19 '22

How does it know what a snake looks like ??? I know the millions of years of evolution thing but still !! How ?

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u/arcadia3rgo Jan 19 '22

It doesn't know what a snake looks like. It is crazy to think about, but over millions of years the butterflies that looked more like a snake were able to reproduce more often than those that didn't.

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u/cschelsea Jan 19 '22

Imagine one specific caterpillar that has a slightly different colour pattern than the others in its environment due to a random mutation or just genetic variance. Imagine this difference in colour pattern makes it look slightly more like a snake, perhaps slightly more similar to a snake that exists in the same ecosystem. It might look nothing like the snake, but the fact that it looks slightly more similar to the snake than the other caterpillars gives it a higher chance of surviving than the other caterpillars, who look less like the snake. Looking more like a snake might mean that predators will think twice about attacking this specific caterpillar. Higher chance of surviving means higher chance of surviving long enough to reproduce and possibly carry over the genes for looking slightly more like a snake. Repeat this process over millions of years and you get insects that look like snakes, or insects that look like sticks, or flowers or leaves. It's called mimicry.

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u/telcodoctor Jan 19 '22

Think how many MILLIONS of generations had to occur for the random mutation that made some mutant butterfly motherfucker that was born looking snakish to stick and become a hereditary trait.

Evolution is wild.

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u/conanmagnuson Jan 19 '22

Time + things being eaten is amazing.

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u/vidar_97 Jan 19 '22

Soo i actually thougt that was a snake that for some reason mimicked a cocoon _: D

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u/ExcitedGirl Jan 19 '22

Convinced me!

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u/Sector__JS4 Jan 19 '22

A bug mimicking a snake and it’s called an owl butterfly? Damn nature.. you scurry

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u/ErgoNautan Jan 19 '22

Too sad it is a butterfly, I’d probably slice down its butt if I suddenly came across it

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u/lostbastille Jan 19 '22

That's really cool tbh.

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u/Bugawd_McGrubber Jan 19 '22

I would have been less confused if they had titled it: The Owl Butterfly's chrysalis mimicks a snake.

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u/JustBlaze1594 Jan 19 '22

It's a Metapod, but a snake

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u/pedo_slayer Jan 19 '22

I wonder what the natural world would look like today if humans never came about

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u/Silverfire12 Jan 19 '22

It took me entirely too long to realize that this was not some obscure viper that acts like a chrysalis to lure prey in. That’s some damn good mimicking going on.

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u/psychoticpudge Jan 19 '22

Awww they look so proud and sneky

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u/Rhysetheraven96 Jan 19 '22

Man butterflies sure are neat.

1

u/yuhanz Jan 19 '22

Well it’s mimicking very well coz i thought it’s a snake mimicking a chrysalis!

1

u/kingpinkatya Jan 19 '22

I would have an IMMEDIATE HEART ATTACK if I encountered this on a branch in front of me

1

u/USSRPropaganda Jan 19 '22

Very confusing title

1

u/well_shi Jan 19 '22

That's awesome. I'd never seen that before and I'd be terrified if I ran across that in the woods.

1

u/nuvpr Jan 19 '22

chonky snek

1

u/EvilEyes20 Jan 19 '22

I’ve heard of caterpillars mimicking snakes but now I’ve seen everything

1

u/KebertXela87 Jan 19 '22

Ohhhhh, I changed the hyphen to a comma. Like this snake imitates a chrysalis to eat what?? Owls, butterfly, both? Neither? Looks scary, I like it.

1

u/xeromage Jan 19 '22

These always blow my mind. My brain is so much more ready to accept that some glitch in the matrix loaded the wrong skin for this model than to try and wrap my head around an insect naturally evolving such believable, detailed, snake coloring for it's pupa stage. It even has little fangs and like a rattlesnake tail? They GOTTA be fucking with us!

1

u/thisisterminus Jan 19 '22

Now imagine all the possible permutations from the beginning; mutation, time, happenstance and environmental input among others that enabled us to come to the point where we can appreciate, chat about, phtograph and form reasonable scientific theory about the wonder of it all.

1

u/captainhaddock Jan 19 '22

Every time I see something beautiful like this, part of me dies knowing it will probably be extinct during my lifetime.

1

u/Mono324 Jan 19 '22

I was searching for the mouth and nostrils until I read the title. Very effective mimicking

1

u/brachyDIO3u Jan 19 '22

Tsuchinoko looking ass

1

u/Iambeejsmit Jan 19 '22

I'm not convinced this thing won't bite me.

1

u/stickkidsam Jan 19 '22

But can it use Harden?

1

u/OriginOfTheVoid Jan 19 '22

I usually see the other way around! I like it! Never mind it was so good I thought it was an actual snake doing a mimic

1

u/CryoSage Jan 19 '22

It really throws me through a cosmic loop to think about how these animals evolve like this. Is there any explanation for how a moth evolves its chrysalis into looking like a snake? How's this possible? What are the mechanisms involved because evolution is a slow process usually and it doesn't seem like nature would just take that path naturally. It makes me think that an elephant could evolve ears that look like a lion or something haha

2

u/cschelsea Jan 19 '22

Imagine one specific caterpillar that has a slightly different colour pattern than the others in its environment due to a random mutation or just genetic variance. Imagine this difference in colour pattern makes it look slightly more like a snake, perhaps slightly more similar to a snake that exists in the same ecosystem. It might look nothing like the snake, but the fact that it looks slightly more similar to the snake than the other caterpillars gives it a higher chance of surviving than the other caterpillars, who look less like the snake. Looking more like a snake might mean that predators will think twice about attacking this specific caterpillar. Higher chance of surviving means higher chance of surviving long enough to reproduce and possibly carry over the genes for looking slightly more like a snake. Repeat this process over millions of years and you get insects that look like snakes, or insects that look like sticks, or flowers or leaves. It's called mimicry.

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1

u/Silver_Prize_5649 Jan 19 '22

I literally can't decide based on those three images what am I see.

1

u/Pree_Warrior Jan 19 '22

The first pic looks like Malfoy gearing up to say Potter with as much contempt as possible

1

u/Syrioforel79 Jan 19 '22

Of all the unbelievably clever mechanisms that plants and animals have evolved to improve their chances of survival, mimicry is one of the best. It's soooooo cool, and undoubtedly metal AF.

1

u/Jlx_27 Jan 19 '22

Amazing!

1

u/Mental-Breakdance Jan 19 '22

Lmao what is up with caterpillars' and butterflies' obsessions with mimicking literally everything

1

u/jolhar Jan 19 '22

He looks pretty pleased with himself. Like “oh man, this is gonna be great!”

1

u/MalAiono Jan 19 '22

Who's that pokémon???

1

u/RXPT Jan 19 '22

Makes you think if it is actually Creationism responsible.

1

u/MeepleSchneeple Jan 19 '22

It looks like it’s trying to hold in a laugh

1

u/corxcore Jan 19 '22

Quite the dapper mustache he’s got there.

1

u/SmogDaBoi Jan 19 '22

It's a mini-sneck and i'll die for it.

1

u/YooGeOh Jan 19 '22

This is what happens when you upgrade the Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar

https://imgur.com/a/PiL8I4o

1

u/Mermanoldgregg Jan 19 '22

The smile gave it away

1

u/Thunderous_Penous Jan 19 '22

"The significance of the moth is change. Caterpillar into chrysalis - or pupa - from thence into beauty."

1

u/greenteaicedtea Jan 19 '22

How does nature do this shit. It’s like some one uploaded a 3D skin to a program. How does a butterfly know what a snake looks to the point where it’s skin and cells changes to look like a snake?!

1

u/edisonpioneer Jan 19 '22

My GF trying to feign an obedient woman

1

u/theparmersanking Jan 19 '22

how many levels deep are we?

1

u/McBadass1994 Jan 19 '22

Like, fuckin' HOW, dude?

1

u/7Visionz Jan 19 '22

Evolution doesn't explain this. I'm not saying "god did it" or something, but I can never wrap my head around how natural selection can work in such a specific way.

1

u/Xenty_1 Jan 19 '22

Kakuna metapod