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Animal Themes
Insects
Invertebrates
Monarch Butterflies



Monarch Butterflies
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.93

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    viceroy, monarch, fearsome, thus, exclusive, natural, defense, toxin, migratory, orange-colored, however, contrast, early, longest, manage, similar
     content words:    United States


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Monarch Butterflies   

1     Monarch butterflies just might be the insects with the greatest endurance on Earth! Although they look fragile, they manage to do one thing that only bigger and stronger animals can do - migrate!
 
2     During the winter months, we often find monarch butterflies in the southern United States and central Mexico. When spring comes, monarch butterflies head north. Some reach as far north as southern Canada. However, as the weather starts to cool down in autumn, monarch butterflies are ready to fly back to their southern homes. Along their migratory routes, monarch butterflies look for a plant called milkweed. Why is this plant so important to monarch butterflies? Well, that is because the larvae (or caterpillars) of monarch butterflies eat nothing but milkweed leaves. This exclusive diet earns monarch butterflies a nickname - milkweed butterflies - and makes them fearsome to other animals.
 
3     Fearsome? Yes, monarch butterflies give other animals chills because they taste bad! Monarch caterpillars and butterflies can make their predators sick with upset stomachs! After hatching, monarch caterpillars eat poisonous milkweed leaves. The toxin stays inside their bodies even after they grow up and become monarch butterflies. Their diet gives them this natural defense.

Paragraphs 4 to 5:
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Animal Themes
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Insects
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