Animal behavior: These butterflies suck turtle tears to survive (VIDEO)

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Our world is full of surprises.

The following is one of the most wonderful!

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This must have been fantastic: Travel photographer Jeff Cremer and biologist Phil Torres recorded a stream of brightly-coloured butterflies smothering the heads of turtles as they try and drink their tears.

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The strange sight occurs because the orange Julia butterflies and yellow Sulphur butterflies require the nutritional benefits of salt. This first video features this amazing animal behavior.

Being a long way from any source of sodium in the Amazon rainforest, the butterflies take advantage of the turtles’ salt-rich tears and surround their heads looking for a drink.

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The terrapins – a type of freshwater turtle –  were basking in the sun to collect heat and energy for the day when the butterflies flocked to them. Much like humans, a turtle’s sweat is rich in salt and animals in the region have to drink their tears because they are nowhere near an ocean.

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Amazingly, the turtles are apparently unperturbed by the intrusion into their personal space and are apparently very patient with the gentle touch of butterflies. However, they are less calm when bees are trying to drink from their eyes as shown in this video:

This amazing animal behaviour was photographed in Tambopata, Peru. On the other side of the world, namely in Japan, these fireflies were photographed… Eerie!

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