Sunday, September 21, 2014

Flight of the Butterflies 3D

The beautiful, award-winning IMAX movie “Flight of the Butterflies 3D” is back at Pacific Science Center to the delight of audiences of all ages. After seeing the movie, most guests make a bee-line … butterfly-line? … to see our butterfly exhibit. So once again, we remind you about Tropical Butterfly House courtesy and our number one rule: Please don’t touch the butterflies. "But," you say, “in the movie, there are scenes showing people touching butterflies. Why can't I?"

Like Animal Care Staff, the scientists in the film are trained on how to handle these delicate creatures without hurting them or damaging their wings. Butterfly wing tagging is performed with the least amount of handling necessary and the butterflies don’t appear to be encumbered by the tags. Currently there is no better way to track a butterfly’s migratory patterns, although the tags have gotten smaller. Citizen scientists are essential to information gathering. By tagging of a small percentage of the Monarch population, scientists learn a great deal about this species. This data helps us to better understand butterflies and their migration patterns.

In our Tropical Butterfly House, Animal Care Staff carefully gather butterflies from the emerging window with forceps and release them into the garden as gently as possible. With forceps, Staff is trained to gather all four wings firmly but efficiently to cause as little stress as possible to the butterfly.

Enjoy the movie, then enjoy our butterflies. We have so much to learn from these amazing insects, let’s treat them with respect while they are in our care.

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