Exposure to radioactive material released into the environment has caused mutations in butterflies found in Japan, a study suggests. Scientists found an increase in leg, antennae and wing shape mutations among butterflies collected following the 2011 Fukushima accident. The link between the mutations and the radioactive material was shown by laboratory experiments, they report.
By comparing mutations found on the butterflies collected from the different sites, the team found that areas with greater amounts of radiation in the environment were home to butterflies with much smaller wings and irregularly developed eyes.
Beeld: cc Nature, Scientific Reports