Wednesday, April 2, 2014


This blog post is the 500th entry since our first story was published on May 1, 2009. Over the past five years, we have strived to give readers some insight into our work behind the scenes of Pacific Science Center’s Life Sciences Department. And in addition to telling our stories and explaining our husbandry, we’ve listed every butterfly shipment our Tropical Butterfly House has received!

So what's happened in the past five years? Let’s look at the numbers!

-In the past five years we received 119,236 pupae resulting in 83,657 healthy butterflies and moths among 147 different species.

-Although butterflies have comparatively short lives, our two Chilean rose tarantulas are still going strong. Similarly, the Vietnamese stick insects and the Madagascar hissing cockroaches are reliably trouble-free species in our Insect Village.

-Our naked mole rat colony grew from 21 members in May 2009 to 63 individuals today through the combined efforts of our two queens, Galinda and Elphaba. And now the whole world can keep an eye on their antics through our webcam.

-We have added 526 tide pool animals to our Puget Sound Saltwater touch tank from ten collecting trips over the past five years. During this time we estimate that we have mixed 18,700 gallons of salt water to sustain them.

-Three corn snakes, Tillamook, Nacho, and Pepper Jack, joined our reptile family as we said goodbye to Zea and Maizey. We also lost Estella, one of our sibling red boa constrictors.

-Axolotls had a degree of turnover. Two hatchlings we named Ginger and Gherkin joined Flopsy, Mopsy and Peter Cotton Gills in 2011. Sadly, Gherkin, Mopsy, and Peter are no longer with us.

-Our western painted turtle, Ali, arrived with shell problems that are gradually being addressed. Meanwhile Lydia, our adorable leopard gecko whom we inherited in 2002, remains sooooo cute.

-And lastly, Life Sciences has mentored fifteen Discovery Corps Interns since our blog began. We are grateful for their assistance and have enjoyed helping them progress!

Five hundred is a milestone but not the end. At this time we simply wish to reflect on this benchmark and sincerely thank you - our loyal local, national, and international readers. Stay tuned!

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