I was provided passes to attend a media preview at the Vancouver Aquarium. All opinions are my own.
Thousands of tropical butterflies are back for a limited time in the Graham Amazon Gallery at the Vancouver Aquarium®. I recently had the opportunity to tour this exhibit with my daughter, niece and nephew. While touring this lush re-creation of South America’s rainforest I was lucky enough to have a beautiful butterfly land directly on my head. I was in complete awe as it stayed there longer than I would have expected and only left when I tried to capture a picture. The kids were a bit bummed as they didn’t have any land on them this visit.
When my daughter was growing up, butterflies were a favourite of hers and we learned about many different types. After visiting the aquarium, I was really surprised at how many different types of butterflies were out there. There are more than 4,000 species that have been identified just in the Amazon. In the Graham Amazon Gallery you can see a variety of different types including the blue morphos, giant owls and heliconians. If you watch closely you can see them feeding on nectar, fruit and flowers, camouflaging on tree trunks, courting a mate and hitchhiking on lucky visitors. The gallery has a section where you can observe them transition from pupae to butterfly in special viewing chambers.
I appreciated that touring the exhibits with tweens that they got to take in more information than they would have a few years ago and always bring up interesting points that I may not have considered. They absorb the facts but it without it feeling like it was a field trip. They appreciated the butterfly mural wall perfect to grab an insta-worthy picture. Whether you have been to the aquarium once or multiple times there is always something new to learn.
• Butterflies are excellent pollinators; they flit from one flower to another, searching for nectar or places to lay their eggs, and cross-pollinating in the process.
• They use their coiled tongue to slurp flower nectar or a fruit’s juice. It works like a straw — extended for slurping but coiled when resting.
• Butterflies taste through their feet.
• Wing colours and patterns advertise potential mates, and warn, scare or hide butterflies from predators.
• A group of butterflies is called a flutter.
Experience butterflies in the Vancouver Aquarium’s Graham Amazon Gallery from May to September 2019. Access to the Gallery is included in the price of admission.
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