Winter in Canada is long, cold and dark, but the Canadian Museum of Nature will brighten things up by offering visitors the chance to walk among dozens of species of butterflies starting tomorrow. The butterflies come from two sustainable farms in Costa Rica and are transported to Ottawa while in their pupal stage.
Visitors encouraged to wear bright colours
Visitors can view the hanging pupae through a winder and may see some of the butterflies emerging. An introductory area provides information about the life stages of the butterfly, its importance as a pollinator of plants, flight mechanics and conservation.
Then visitors will be able to walk through the Solarium part of the museum in which the live butterflies will be flying free. They are invited to wear bright colours to attract the insects.
There will be hands-on activities for children and for parents, and a coffee station will illustrate coffee bean harvesting and processing. The museum promises samples of Costa Rican coffee will be served on Saturday’s with the help of youth studying in a tourism program.
Among the interesting facts provided by the museum: the oldest butterfly fossil is about 55 million years old, over 180,000 species of Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) are found everywhere on Earth, except in Antarctica, and while Costa Rica only occupies 0.03 per cent of the Earth’s surface, it is home to 10 per cent of the world’s butterfly species.
Video courtesy Canadian Museum of Nature/YouTube