take flight in Aquarium’s new Ocean Journey building
Lush indoor rainforest will feature hundreds of fluttering butterflies
Tenn. (Jan. 26, 2005) – Imagine hundreds of butterflies
fluttering about you and alighting on the plants and trees in
an indoor rainforest. The air is thick with butterflies; some
hover over flowers while others sip fruit juice from feeding
stations. A few butterflies may even land on you.
Tennessee Aquarium announced today that the new Ocean Journey
building scheduled to open April 29 will include a stunning
gallery to showcase hundreds of live butterflies in a 30-foot-high
sunlit space. The Butterfly Garden is one of several new galleries
featured in the Aquarium’s $30 million expansion.
visitors enter the Butterfly Garden, they will 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 bird song. And the air will
be alive with hundreds of exotic butterflies - from as far away
as Africa, Asia and Central America.
Journey’s tropical rainforest will be the Aquarium’s
third forest under glass, * and will feature both the Butterfly
Garden and Tropical Cove,” Arant said. “Creating
immersive, natural exhibits with animals that swim, crawl and
fly is how we take families on an adventure above and below
the water’s surface. Butterflies capture the imagination
and are a terrific way to inspire wonder and appreciation for
the natural world.”
from their beauty, butterflies are some of the most amazing
creatures in the animal kingdom,” added Dave Collins,
Aquarium curator of forests. “Not only do these animals
undergo a series of impressive transformations during their
lifecycle; they also display the ability to adapt to life in
habitats from the Arctic tundra to the rainforests of the tropics.”
will get an up-close look at how these enchanting animals undergo
an astonishing metamorphosis. With four distinct stages - egg,
larva (caterpillar), pupa (chrysalis) and adult - visitors will
learn about the butterfly’s lifecycle and may witness
nature’s most charming aerialist as it emerges from its
cocoon. A section of the exhibit will showcase chrysalises.
within its rigid case, the chrysalis isn’t hibernating.
It’s frantically remaking itself,” Collins explained.
“It emerges with huge compound eyes, long segmented legs,
oversized wings and newly reorganized muscles to power the whole
are arthropods. Adults have six legs, one pair of antennae and
a segmented body consisting of a head, thorax and an abdomen.
exhibits in the Butterfly Garden will promote butterfly watching,
butterfly gardening and other aspects of butterfly conservation.
Visitors also will learn how butterfly farming is helping to
protect rainforests by providing natives with an alternate income
other than 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 the Chattanooga’s 21st
Century Waterfront plan.
the transformation of the waterfront is complete the Aquarium
will be surrounded by: 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; and a wetlands
park and adventure playground. A dramatic underground passageway
to the river will mark the beginning of the Trail of Tears that
will celebrate Native American culture.
The Aquarium’s original living forests under glass are
in the River Journey building -- the Cove Forest and Mississippi
Delta galleries. The Cove features the flora, fauna and four
seasons of the Appalachian Mountains on Level 4. The Delta,
located on Level 3, teems with life found in the fertile swamplands
of the Louisiana Bayou.
Tennessee Aquarium inspires wonder and appreciation for the
natural world. Admission is $14 per adult and $7.50 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 $7.75 per adult and $5.25 per child. Aquarium/IMAX
combo tickets are $18 for adults and $10.50 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
more information about the new Ocean Journey building: http://www.tnaqua.org/Newsroom/ExpansionPressKit.asp
downloadable images: http://www.tnaqua.org/Newsroom/Photo_library.asp