Butterflies at Rest

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Butterflies at rest hold their wings vertically together above their bodies. In order to fly the butterfly has to pull them apart. This movement creates a partial vacuum between the wings that makes it hard work to flap them against the air. But butterfly wings are covered with scales that are attached on one edge and overlap one another like roof tiles. The attachment is hinged so the scales can move away from the surface. When a butterfly starts to open its wings the scales swing out and release air that has been trapped underneath them. The released air decreases the partial vacuum and makes it easier for the butterfly to flap its wings. (New Scientist, 17/7/99, p56)

Editorial Comment: It is in the minute details that we see real evidence for God’s genius in engineering design.

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