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Swampland - the Oregon Coast Aquarium’s new exhibit will open Memorial Day Weekend
Newport

Oregon Coast Aquarium snakeSwampland, the Oregon Coast Aquarium’s new changing exhibit, opens May 29, 2010. Swampland will be an elaborate immersive experience, with colorful mural work replicating different types of swamps. Exotic creatures will make their homes here among replicated South American swamps of the Pantanal, a mangrove swamp and a Louisiana cypress swamp. Swampland will focus on the role of animals in these ecosystems, using a narrative style of interpretation with a storybook format.

What kinds of creatures live in swamps?

Reptiles, amphibians, fishes, birds and mammals. A 12 foot long anaconda and a 6 foot long alligator will be among the inhabitants of this swamp. Not a known man-eater, the anaconda could nonetheless have the potential to be dangerous. Feeding an anaconda, the largest species of snake, will require two people and a specific feeding protocol, due to its enormous size and strength. Other animals you’ll find in the Swampland include piranhas, red tail boas, a large alligator snapping turtle, and tropical fish that use mangrove roots as nurseries.

Many of the animals in Swampland will come from Brads World Reptiles in Corvallis. Brad's World Reptiles develops professional large-scale, live-animal educational programs, interactive exhibits, and stage shows as an attraction and entertainment at events. Brad Tylman, proprietor, said their mission is to provide the opportunity to learn about, view and even touch some of the most beautiful and exotic animals on the planet. “Unique and mysterious, reptiles, amphibians and other exotic animals raise both hairs and curiosities,” said Tylman. “It is through this interest we strive to entertain and educate people about the importance of biodiversity, and the conservation and sustainable use of all forms of life.” For more information visit Brad’s World Reptiles web site at: www.bradsworldreptiles.com .

“The mural work for this exhibit will essentially cover every wall complete with replicated cypress or mangrove trees,” said Rich Sullivan, Aquarium Director of Exhibits.   “The illustrations will be whimsical, featuring animals and insects that are challenging to keep in captivity.”

Swim with the Piranhas

Interactive components will include a crawl-through tank where visitors can “swim with the piranhas,” a crawl-through simulated alligator den, a flip lid activity where visitors can guess what animals made the illustrated tracks and a naturalist camp.

Swampland will reveal swamps as complex ecosystems providing essential habitat for wildlife and valuable ecosystems that benefit all living things. The exhibit will demonstrate how swamps act as a natural filter and enhance water quality by acting as a sponge to reduce flooding and erosion. By showing how swamps play an important role in the health of the planet, and letting people know what they can do to help, the Oregon Coast Aquarium hopes that Swampland will fascinate and inspire people to conserve our precious swamps and wetlands.

A special thanks to Swampland sponsors: Fred Meyer, Meyer Memorial Trust, Juliet Ashby Hillman Foundation, Summer Lea Hillman Foundation, Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund, Rose E. Tucker Charitable Trust, Jackson Foundation, and Wheeler Foundation and 127 individuals who donated to Swampland.

Oregon Coast AquariumThe Oregon Coast Aquarium is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational attraction dedicated to the highest quality aquatic and marine science programs for recreation and education so the public better understands, cherishes, and conserves the world’s natural marine and coastal resources. For more information, visit the Aquarium’s Web site at www.aquarium.org or call (541) 867-FISH.

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