Will You Survive the Seven Perils of the Amazon River? Find Out at Amazon Voyage: Vicious Fishes & Other Riches
Queens, N.Y. – Take a voyage along the world’s most biologically diverse river in Amazon Voyage: Vicious Fishes & Other Riches. The hands-on, bilingual (Spanish/English) exhibition will be on view at the New York Hall of Science from May 8 – August 22, 2010.
To start their journey, visitors board a replica of a riverboat and are welcomed to the exhibition by a video of real-life riverboat captain Moacir Fortes, also known as Mo. Mo tells visitors a local story he calls ‘The Seven Perils,’ in which he describes the electric eel, the stingray, the piranha, the anaconda, the caiman, the giant catfish (piraíba) and the candirú (a parasitic catfish). “There are thousands of river creatures we enjoy,” Mo says, “but seven that enjoy us – but that’s just a yarn I tell the tourists. I hope YOU will look a little closer.”
When visitors explore the exhibition closer, they learn about the biodiversity of the Amazon region, as well as the scientific field research and resource management being practiced there, and the ways people celebrate the Amazon River. Visitors can engage in a variety of hands-on activities, including:
• Wrestling with a life-size, soft, sculpted anaconda
• Examining animations of four species of piranhas and their feeding strategies
• Comparing the jaws of an extinct “mega-piranha” to those of modern piranhas
• Reaching inside the open belly of a replica piraíba, the largest Amazonian catfish, to find out what it eats
• Observing live stingrays and tetra fish
• Touching a current producing device to experience the zap of a tiny eel
• Reaching into a tank of wet leaf litter to search for muck fish
• Donning dolphin hats, anaconda tails and stingray vests to join an Amazonian festival
So are the seven perilous animals really that dangerous? After learning about the animals found in the Amazon River, visitors find out about the true perils facing the region today: damming rivers, pollution from gold mining, cattle ranching, over-fishing, bio-piracy, poaching and logging.
Amazon Voyage: Vicious Fishes & Other Riches was developed and built by the Miami Museum of Science & Planetarium. The Museum consulted with the Science Museum of Minnesota, a team of North and South American scientists, Randi Korn and Associates and the artist Ray Troll. The National Science Foundation funded the exhibit.