VIDEO: Why Butterflies, Bees Drink Crocodile Tears
By Space Coast Daily // May 14, 2014
Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
ABOVE VIDEO: A Julia butterfly (Dryas iulia) and a solitary bee (Centris sp.) sip tears from the eyes of spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus) on Costa Rica’s Puerto Viejo River. Filmed by ecologist Carlos de la Rosa, Director of the La Selva Biological Research Station, in December 2013.
Last December, passengers on a boat trip down Costa Rica‘s Puerto Viejo River were treated to a strange sight: a butterfly and a bee drinking the tears from a crocodile’s eyes.
The encounter between the insects, a Julia butterfly (Dryas iulia) and a bee (Centris sp.), and the spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus) lasted more than 15 minutes, as the reptile placidly permitted the insects to sip from its eyes as it basked on a log.