Florida Museum to open ‘Amazon Voyage’ exhibit Oct. 3

August 25th, 2009

Photos available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — This fall, travel into the rainforest at the Florida Museum of Natural History with “Amazon Voyage: Vicious Fishes and Other Riches” showing Oct. 3 – Jan. 17, 2010.

This family-friendly exhibit educates visitors about the Amazon rainforest with a fascinating journey through this untamed land, including information about the plants, animals and people who live there.

“For many Americans, the Amazon is a storied place full of exotic animals, plants and cultures,” said Darcie MacMahon, Florida Museum assistant director of exhibits. “This exhibit brings the Amazon to life with beautiful art, hands-on experiences, good science and fascinating stories.”

Visitors will travel through seven unique ports-of-call while learning about the incredible biodiversity of the Amazon River. Discover the “Seven Perils of the Amazon,” including the electric eel, piranha and the infamous anaconda. Each stop focuses on one of the seven perils and a common type of Amazon terrain. Experience the zap of an electrifying eel in the “Flooded Forest,” learn how catfish adapt in the “Deep Channel” and meet other interesting and sometimes dangerous water-dwelling creatures in the piranha area.

“Amazon Voyage” provides visitors a closer look at the regional landscapes and animals that scientists study. An underwater viewing dome provides a unique look at cardinal tetras, marbled hatchetfish and blue discus fish. Visitors can touch live ocellate river stingrays in a tank and help Paulo Petry, lead science advisor for the exhibit, sift through muck in search of new species.

Throughout the exhibit, other aspects of Amazon life give visitors a taste of the environment and lifestyle of local residents. With the help of some Amazonian residents, discover how people learn to live in such a wet environment, dance in the Barcelos fish festival, and listen to native folk tales on Captain Mo’s fishing boat.

The traditional seven perils do not harm the Amazon’s ecosystem, but the region faces environmental threats from activities including commercial fishing and logging. Exhibit visitors can learn about these threats and what can be done to remedy them from local fishermen and scientists. The museum’s Butterfly Rainforest also will feature butterflies from the Amazon region during the exhibit.

“Amazon Voyage: Vicious Fishes and Other Riches” was created by the Miami Science Museum. The exhibit was made possible with support from the National Science Foundation. Exhibit artwork was created by Ray Troll. Admission is $8 for adults ($7 Fla. residents), $6 for UF and other state college students and $5.50 for children ages 3-12. Museum members receive free admission to “Amazon Voyage” and MembershipPlus members also receive free Butterfly Rainforest admission. Combo rates for both exhibits are available.

For more information visit www.flmnh.ufl.edu or call 352-846-2000.

- 30 -

Source: Darcie MacMahon, 352-273-2053, dmacmahon@flmnh.ufl.edu
Writer: Morgan Lamborn
Media contact: Paul Ramey, 352-273-2054, pramey@flmnh.ufl.edu