Butterflies evolved 100 million years ago in North America TNA

A black swallowtail butterfly

Shutterstock / Katherenes

According to genetic analysis, butterflies first appeared in North America about 100 million years ago. The results were used to generate a detailed butterfly family tree, giving scientists new insights into the evolutionary origins of butterflies and their spread across the globe.

“The family relationships and history of the butterflies, surprisingly, are not very well known,” explains Akito Kawahara at the University of Florida.

Earlier smaller-scale projects had attempted to pinpoint the oldest ancestors of insects, Kawahara says. There were also assumptions…

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