Salted butterflies

The salt used to melt slick winter ice can alter the bodies of summer's butterflies

By Stephen Ornes, 09:11 AM June 23, 2014

The salt used to melt the slick ice on winter roads can alter the brains and muscles of butterflies the following summer. That’s the finding of a new study conducted with monarch caterpillars.

Before they spin a cocoon and emerge with wings, the caterpillars feed on the leaves of milkweeds, oaks and other plants. Researchers collected the leaves from milkweeds growing near a country road in Minnesota. They compared them to those from milkweeds growing at least 100 meters (328 feet) away. Green...

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