Gorgeous Footage of Colorful Butterflies Drinking the Tears of Turtles Along the Peruvian Amazon

Butterflies Drinking Turtles' Tears

Conservationist, entomologist and television host Phil Torres of Jungle Diaries, who spent two years in the Peruvian Amazon, captured on video the remarkable sight of flocks of colorful butterflies swarming around the faces of turtles, truly looking as if they were animated characters out of a Disney film. As it turns out, these lepidopteran insects were drinking the tears of the turtles as a means to get the sodium and other minerals needed to regulate their metabolism, boost their reproduction and ensure their survival. As we previously posted, the process, known as lachryphagy (tear drinking), requires that the male of the species purposely agitating the eyes of the shelled reptile so that the tears will flow more readily.

On sunny days in the Amazon you may get lucky while boating down the river to see this odd spectacle- dozens of butterflies swarming turtles to drink their tears.

via The Kid Should See This

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.