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What's new at the Museum

2 Posts tagged with the rainforest tag
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Hooray, the first live butterflies are now fluttering around the butterfly house on the Museum's front lawn in readiness for our Butterfly Explorers exhibition opening on 8 April. As I write this, a little girl has at least one tropical beauty perched gracefully on her nose (here she is below), surrounded by photographers at today’s photo preview.

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Luke Brown, the butterfly manager, told me that the first few hundred butterflies were released in the butterfly house last week, and by the time the exhibition opens next Thursday they are likely to have nearly doubled in numbers.

 

This year’s exhibition has a different themed butterfly house and outdoor garden to last year. It recreates habitats from the steamy tropics of Asia, Africa, South and Central America to the expansive prairie grasslands of North America and even our own parks and  gardens here in the UK. Every child gets given a passport on entry which they can stamp at each border and record important butterfly species spotted along the way. Find out more on our Butterfly Explorers website.

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Above: Inside the butterfly house at Butterfly Explorers. Below: the blue morpho butterfly, Morpho achilles

'From next week we'll see 100s of big blue morphos (below) and owl butterflies in the butterfly house. These two fruit feeders are favourites with our visitors,' says Luke. Some pupae of moon moths are already in the hatchery and I personally can't wait to see these gorgeous creatures when they emerge.

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More and more butterfly species will appear through the coming months, and about 400 to 500 pupae arrive each week.

 

The fun, outdoor British garden area of the exhibition is designed to attract butterflies, and children. If you look carefully you may see some of the 58 species living in the UK and familiar to this region. Sniff out scents and herbs here and get great gardening tips. Kids will enjoy climbing up into the tree house and getting a better view of the garden.

 

Find out about the exhibition highlights on our Butterfly Explorers website when the exhibition opens next week.

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Bye-bye butterflies

Posted by Rose Sep 24, 2009

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'We're on the move to Longleat'

 

This Sunday, 27 September, I will be very sad to see our beautiful butterflies start to flutter away from the Museum's front lawn as the Buttefly Jungle summer exhibition closes finally. It has been a great success this year many 1000s of visitors have enjoyed it. You've got three days left to get there! But if you miss it, you can always browse our website to remind yourselves of the beauty and variety of butterflies and drama of life in the jungle.

 

I popped in to the exhibition this week to say goodbye and to find out what will happen to the butterflies themselves and other creatures after the closure.

 

It looks like there will be about 800 to 900 live butterflies that need to be captured from the butterfly house. These will go to Longleat Safari Park. The safari park bought last year's butterfly house and have already claimed this year's collection. Pupae will go to The Magic of Life Butterfly House in Aberystwyth.

 

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Charlie on his favourite branch

 

Charlie, our popular iguana who starred in our earlier Darwin exhibition, is going to a new home in a permanent reptile display in Dunstable, so Charlie fans make sure you say your goodbyes at the Museum before Sunday. And have you ever wondered if Charlie is actually glued to the branch he always seems to sit on in his island display? I discovered he does move from the bottom upwards during the day, following the light. But you have to spend the whole day watching to glimpse him in full action.

 

Sumo, the 18-year--old Argentine horned frog, croaks off to Stapeley Water Gardens in Crewe. Other jungle creatures will return to Amey Zoo (a small exotic pets zoo in Hertfordshire) where they were originally loaned from, and the stick insects re-unite with their owner and Museum insect expert, Simon Dickson. And some of the slow-growing plants will be wintered for future events.


Let's hope we have another butterfly exhibition next year and lots of this year's stars join us again.