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Butterfly fossil

Praepapilio colorado
Lived 48 million years ago
Found in Douglas Pass, Garfield County, Colorado

This extinct butterfly is related to one that lives in the dry tropical forests of Mexico today. Different colors remain on the male butterfly wings even though it is a fossil! The body of the female butterfly, shown here, had fallen apart before being preserved as a fossil. Chris Durden, Curator Emeritus of Entomology at TMM, named and described this ancient butterfly species.