Vibrant Butterfly Garden tops Aquarium's new Ocean Journey
Indoor rainforest features exotic plants
and free-flying butterflies
Tenn. (Feb. 21, 2005) – Imagine an indoor rainforest filled
with hundreds of jewel-colored butterflies that hover over flowers,
sip nectar from feeding stations and even alight on delighted
guests. These exotic and beautiful butterflies delight the senses,
and visitors to the Butterfly Garden in the Tennessee Aquarium’s
new Ocean Journey building will discover other reasons to appreciate
these whimsical creatures.
guests enter the Butterfly Garden, they step into a world of
tall tropical plants and exotic flowers,” said Charlie
Arant, Aquarium president. “They’ll be surrounded
by the sounds of a waterfall and birdsong. The air will be alive
with a thousand exotic butterflies – from as far away
as Africa, Asia and Central America.”
But aside from their beauty, butterflies are some of the most
amazing creatures in the animal kingdom.
only do they undergo a series of miraculous transformations
during their life cycles, they also display the ability to adapt
to life in habitats from the Arctic tundra to the rainforests
of the tropics,” said Dave Collins, Aquarium curator of
forests. “In addition, butterflies play an important role
in the ecosystem by serving as plant pollinators and as a link
in the food chain.”
will get an up-close look at these captivating creatures during
the last part of their astonishing metamorphosis. From egg to
larva (caterpillar), to pupa (chrysalis) and then adult, butterflies
have an amazing life cycle. Guests in the Butterfly Garden will
be able to observe adult butterflies and study chrysalises.
Those who are patient may even have the opportunity to watch
as an adult emerges from the chrysalis, spreads its wings and
eventually takes flight.
a chrysalis looks inert, it is not,” Collins explained.
“Inside, is a creature that is frantically remaking itself.
It emerges with huge compound eyes, segmented legs, oversized
wings and newly reorganized muscles that power the entire thing.”
areas of the Butterfly Garden will promote butterfly watching,
butterfly gardening and other aspects of butterfly conservation.
Visitors will also learn how butterfly farming is helping to
protect rainforests by providing farmers an alternative to clearing
the delicate habitat of a tropical rainforest.
primary threat to butterflies is habitat destruction and the
use of pesticides,” said Collins. “Habitat changes
and loss due to residential, agricultural and commercial development
have resulted in profound changes in the composition of many
Butterfly Garden and the other galleries being created in the
new Ocean Journey are all part of Chattanooga’s 21st Century
addition to the Aquarium’s Ocean Journey building, the
21st Century Waterfront plan includes a $20 million expansion
of the Hunter Museum of American Art; a $3 million renovation
of the Creative Discovery Museum; enhanced public spaces along
the riverfront at Ross’s Landing and on the North Shore;
a pedestrian pier and bridge; boat slips; vast green spaces;
a wetlands park and an adventure playground. A dramatic underground
passageway to the river will mark the beginning of the Trail
of Tears and will celebrate Native American culture.
Tennessee Aquarium inspires wonder and appreciation for the
natural world. Admission is $17.95 per adult and $9.50 per child,
ages 3-12. Each ticket purchased helps support Aquarium conservation
programs. The IMAX® 3D Theater is next door to the Aquarium.
Ticket prices are $7.95 per adult and $5.50 per child. Aquarium/IMAX
combo tickets are $21.95 for adults and $12.50 for children.
Advance tickets may be purchased online at www.tnaqua.org or
by phone at 1-800-262-0695. The Aquarium, located on the banks
of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, is a non-profit organization.
Open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Aquarium
and IMAX are accessible to people with disabilities. Members
enjoy unlimited visits and other benefits. Call 267-FISH to
Downloadable images: http://www.tnaqua.org/Newsroom/Photo_library.asp