Transport to a mystical oasis as you enter into an all new butterfly paradise. The newest exhibit at the zoo, Metamorphosis: The Butterfly Effect, was designed to give guests an immersive experience where they can learn all about butterflies in their natural environment.
The name of the exhibit derives from both biology and physics! Metamorphosis is the process of transforming from an immature form to an adult form using two or more distinct stages. In butterflies, these stages go from an egg, to a caterpillar, to a chrysalis, to an adult butterfly. The second part of the name, the butterfly effect, comes from a theory in physics that states that the universe is unpredictable and imprecise and sometimes small acts can have great consequences. Like butterflies greatly affect the ecosystems they live in, we can have an impact on them by the choices we make in our lives.
The exhibit also seeks to educate visitors on the need for pollinators in our everyday lives. With over 17,000 butterfly species worldwide, butterflies can be found on nearly every continent, including 140 distinct species here in Tennessee. For such a small insect, butterflies play a key role in their ecosystems through pollination. Pollination is the act of moving pollen within a flower or to another flower that allows that plant to produce fruit. It is from pollination that we get some of our favorite foods like fruit, vegetables, chocolate, and many other things! Like the garden you are standing in, you can plant your own pollinator garden in your backyard, porch, or patio! By providing plants that pollinators use as food sources and shelter, you can help local pollinator populations to thrive.
When visiting Metamorphosis, be sure to check out the signs to help you identify the many different species you will see as you walk through the exhibit. You will feel yourself getting lost in the tranquil sounds of the rushing waterfall and light music as your attention is grabbed by the vibrant colors of flowers and the flapping wings of butterflies all around you. This exhibit will give you an experience you will not soon forget! Stop by next time you visit the Memphis Zoo! Metamorphosis: The Butterfly Effect can be found inside the Zambezi River Hippo Camp exhibit.