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Questions for Analysis
Graph of average low temperatures at monarch overwintering sites.


  • What's surprising about the temperatures at the monarch's winter home in Mexico?
  • Why do you think Dr. Brower states that the "critical time for the monarchs is January and early February?"
  • What are the average temperatures when monarchs are arriving at the sanctuaries in the fall?
  • What are the temperatures when the monarchs begin to migrate north in the spring?
  • We know temperatures often fall below freezing at the overwintering sites, yet this graph does not show such cold temperatures. Why? (Students may need to be reminded that these are average low temperatures. The actual low temperatures fluctuate above and below these averages.)
  • What adaptations do monarchs have that help them survive the temperatures shown on this graph?
  • What happens to the monarchs as the temperatures get warmer in the spring?
  • How do you think scientists use the information on this graph?
  • Why do you think this data is important to scientists?