Migration
Migration

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1 Introduction to movement and migration

Not all animals migrate in the same way as birds. The mass migrations of locusts do not involve a round trip for any individual, for their life cycle is shorter than the seasonal cycle. The round trip of the monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus, Video 1) that migrate between North America and Mexico takes more than one generation to complete.

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Video 1 Monarch butterfly migration.
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The distances travelled during migration can be immense. Table 1 lists a few of the more spectacular journeys, and the animals that undertake them are shown in Figure 2.

Table 1 Migration records.
RecordSpeciesDistance
Longest recorded journey in waterleatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)20 558 km in 647 days (Indonesia to Oregon, USA)
Longest mammal migrationhumpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)up to 8500 km each way
Longest insect migrationmonarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)up to 4750 km in the autumn (North America to Mexico)
Longest recorded round-triparctic tern (Sterna paradisaea)70 900 km (North to South Pole)
Highest altitude migrationbar-headed goose (Anser indicus)9000 m above sea level
Described image
Figure 2 Some animals that undertake long migrations.

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