Thursday, June 7, 2012

Amazing Amazonia

On a gorgeous afternoon last week with absolutely nothing to do, Joe Joe and I decided to get out into the sunshine and utilize our National Zoo membership a little more.  Thinking there was not much new to see or do, I left my fancy camera at home and figured we'd maybe just revisit the Invertebrate House and hope to catch them feeding the giant octopus. 

We spent a while exploring the ever expanding and improving Asia Trail and got to see the fun, new Asian otter habitat.  Joseph said he wanted to head home after about an hour, but as were were almost to the car he remembered spying a picture of a frog on the map and asked if we could stop by and see it.  I honestly didn't even know there was a building way down at the end of the zoo past the kids' farm area, but there it was on the map.  And the only road inside the zoo that even remotely went near it was closed for construction.  So we actually drove from one end the zoo all the way around the other, and still had to walk from there.  But free parking is a perk of membership!

I had no idea what to expect from "Amazonia," but it. was. amazing!  Apparently Amazonia is the largest and most complex exhibit ever built at the zoo.  The 15,000 square foot "habitat" portion of the exhibit includes a living rainforest with a cascading tropical river and free roaming animals above a 55,000 gallon aquarium.  Right off the entrance is a "flooded" rainforest, a shallow pool that is home to swarms of freshwater stingrays.  WHY had we never heard of this before????

The coolest part of our glimpse into the underwater life of the Amazon river had to be the Arapaima, described as a serpent like fish - one of the largest freshwater fish in the world, growing up to 10 feet long!

As we continued our exploration we stumbled upon the Amazonia Science Gallery, a sort of combination library, research center, lab and mini exhibit space.  Joseph could have sat and stared at the swirling lights on the globe the whole afternoon, but he was quite excited running from aquarium to aquarium searching for all sorts of toad and poisonous frogs.

All in all, a really awesome space that we will be sure to visit again!  One last amazing thing about this?  This post was comprised entirely of photo's taken with my iPhone!


AKA Jane Random said...

Arapaima? Why have I never heard of this!? Wow!

POSDATA said...

Hi fromo Mexico, that is a beautiful place. Congratulations.