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Area Theming Ideas

Discussion in 'Speculative Zoo Design and Planning' started by ParathePineapple, 20 Dec 2021.

  1. ParathePineapple

    ParathePineapple Well-Known Member

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    So I have decided to try to make a fantasy zoo of my own and have realized there is not any threads about creating themed areas for zoos as I want to stray away from typical concepts (African Savannah, Reptile House, Amazon, Aviary Building , Etc.) and thought that it would be a good idea to create one. This thread is made for..
    -ideas for theming for zoo sections or areas
    -Species that could work in said areas
    -Theming for a specific habitat for zoos
    This can apply for both real or fictional zoos.
     
  2. ParathePineapple

    ParathePineapple Well-Known Member

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    To kickstart this thread I will show off one of my ideas for this referred to as The Elephant’s Graveyard. This area besides being based on the myth of the elephant’s graveyard will have the quite dark theme of life and death as it will show these aspects of nature such as predator/prey, nesting sites, and of course a literal elephant graveyard showing the birth, death, and history of the zoo’s elephants. This area also would have a nursery for both sick and newborn animals. The actual area for the elephants would be a series of yards as if you were traveling with the elephants and at the end the last yard would have artificial remains of elephants along with the aforementioned graveyard. This area would also have areas showing of real animal bones of various species along with pelts and feathers that would be from the former residents of the zoo as a form of memorial. Large aviaries for nesting birds would be featured here as well showing off the different nests of scavenging birds, such as marabou storks, condors, and vultures. This area would have other animals as well such as a songbird walkthrough aviary, rhinos and cheetahs housed together, an area showing how tigers can mimic calls of other animals, with sambar deer and tiger habitats, and my personal favorite the previously mentioned nursery which would the zoo’s newborns and quarantined animals. This area and it’s whole purpose is to show the life and death of animals and how even though everything will eventually die, life will still continue and with that I have finished my idea. If anyone has any ideas I would love for you to share below and for those wondering I will get into the specifics of this area once I start my Fictional Zoo thread which I plan to make sometime this week.
     
  3. Haliaeetus

    Haliaeetus Well-Known Member

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    This exhibit looks quite dark and gruesome.
     
  4. ParathePineapple

    ParathePineapple Well-Known Member

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    Yes this probably would be to dark for an actual zoo, but I thought a literal circle of life would be a interesting idea as this exhibit would circle you back down to where you started as if it was a circle. The area is supposed to end on a happy note however as the nursery is the last place in the area which shows off baby animals. I agree this would definitely be the darkest zoo attraction if it was real though.
     
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  5. Haliaeetus

    Haliaeetus Well-Known Member

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    There would be also :
    Hyaenas (spotted or striped, if the thème is African or Asian)
    African Hunting Dogs or Dholes (idem)
    Pythons
    Scavenging Beetles and Flies
     
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  6. Haliaeetus

    Haliaeetus Well-Known Member

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    I remember that few months ago, I had the same idea with an Egyptian themed zone called "Realm of Anubis".
     
  7. Mickey

    Mickey Well-Known Member

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    What about an area called "Beasts of the Myths", where animals that are the body parts of mythological creatures or the same animals that inspired legends are displayed
     
  8. Westcoastperson

    Westcoastperson Well-Known Member

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    Deserts- seems basic but opens up the door for a lot of rarer Asian and African species, also doesn’t have to be in a building.
    Mangroves- mangroves are an extremely import ecosystem and can be found on most continents.
    Manchuria- A lot of zoos hold animals like Amur Tigers, Amur Leopards, Siberian Musk Deer, and Stellers Sea Eagles. The problem is sometimes they are held in tropical exhibits so try putting them al together in a northern temperate exhibit.
    African Bush- So many African exhibits are just open plots of land with randomly mixed animals, try specifically using African Bush plants around or in the exhibit. To get even more specific use actual African wildlife areas and try straying away from basic animals like zebras.
    Mountains- another ecosystem that can display species from all over the world. Can include Asian highland species, Andean mountain species, North American or European Mountain species, you could even try Nubian ibex and geladas.
    From the Andes to the Amazon- A good exhibit to educate people on the Andes and pampas while still attracting them with Amazon species. This idea is also great to teach about the importance of water for riverside communities.
    Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal- same thing as above using mountainous and tropical species to talk about water. This exhibit could also extend into the Malayan Archipelago.
    Eucalyptus Grove- A way to highlight Australia’s eucalyptus forests in a small way. This kind of exhibit could hold all sorts of birds, koalas, Tasmanian devils, Dingos, and Wombats.
    Global Eucalyptuses Groves- take it a step further and talk about introduced eucalyptus groves all across the world in places like Argentina, Morroco, and California.
    Central America- So mange zoos try too hard to focus on the Amazon so try using areas like Panama, Costa Rica, or Belize
    Gulf of California- this one is specifically aquarium based. The Gulf of California holds Many tropical fish species like Whale Shark, Sea Turtles, Manta Rays, Galapagos Sharks, and many other colorful fish species. Also it’s a great way to talk about destructive fishing tactics in the example of animals like the Vaquita.
     
  9. Mickey

    Mickey Well-Known Member

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    One of the sub-exhibits could be:

    The 12 fatigues of Hercules: Asiatic Lion (Nemean Lion), at least 9 kind of Mediterranean snakes (Lerna Hydra), Fallow or Red Deer (Cerinean Deer), any kind of wild hog (Erimatrian Boar), three stables for Gaur, Prezewalski's Wild Horse and Banteng (in order, Augia Stables, Creta's Bull, Diomedes' Horses and Gerione's Oxes), Black Swan (Stimphalian Birds), Red-Fronted Amazon (the belt of Ippolita, queen of the Amazons), eurasian wolf, timber wolf and coyote (Cerberus) with a garden full of bird houses for the local ornithological fauna (Esperids' Golden Apples).
     
    Last edited: 23 Dec 2021
  10. ParathePineapple

    ParathePineapple Well-Known Member

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    Ironically enough this all could easy fit in with the Greek themes with an area of mine I created just yesterday called The Hall Of Arachne which is a large Greek styled hallway full of terrariums for spiders.
    Other ideas I have include a possible Native American Village with totems and other decorations showing the myth of the Thunderbird which would be represented by California Condors. Other animals here could include American Alligators to represent the Mishipeshu or underwater panther a carnivorous scaly animal with sharp teeth and scaled sharp skin that is thought to have come from tales of people seeing alligators. Sturgeon also could work to represent the numerous lake monsters found in the region. Other animals could probably be here not representing anything but have importance to Native Tribes such as bison and deer. This area would also have recreations of houses or huts these people lived in and would be used to educate people on the lives these people lived and what happened to them.
     
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  11. Mickey

    Mickey Well-Known Member

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    The Hall of Arachne could be with The 12 Fatigues of Heracles in a major exhibition called "Ancient Greece"
     
  12. cloudedleopard611

    cloudedleopard611 Well-Known Member

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    I already talked about my ideas on another thread about ways to divide zoos into sections but I feel they're relevant here. The first is Living Fossils. This one's pretty self-explanatory. With this section, I don't really have too many specific species in mind, more general groups, so its pretty flexible in that regard. The types of animals I'd like to see here are sengis, elephant shrews, pelicans, mousebirds (maybe in a walkthrough aviary), seriemas, giant salamanders, arowanas, sturgeon, lamprey, mudskippers, and horseshoe crab. As for specific species, I'd include tuatara, xenopeltis (the exhibit should be done in a way that highlights their iridescence, emphasizing the beauty that can exist in widely disliked animals like snakes), and chambered nautilis. I think the headliner should be a crocodilian. Any species would work, but I really like the idea of using Cuban crocodiles. The reason is that they are the best at running of the extant crocodilians. Some prehistoric crocodilians were land-based predators with long legs and impressive running abilities. This could pay homage to that. It could also be an opportunity to teach people about this through signage. I really like the idea of this exhibit being really grandiose and giving visitors the opportunity to see them at multiple angles. Its ambitious, but an underwater viewing tunnel would be really cool.
    I'm also really attached to the idea of including coelacanths, although based on my research, they are not viable in captivity, so this is not within the realm of possibility, at least not now.
    As for the theming, I really like the idea of it being made to look like a fossil dig site, with the fossils of iconic extinct species in the rock walls and the ground. I also like the idea of incorporating living fossil plants into the landscaping. The signage would also incorporate facts about these animals and why they managed to endure so much change.
    My second idea is an area featuring animals once not believed to be real. This would include okapi, any pelican species, komodo dragon, any kangaroo species, and any rhinoceros species. As the headliner, ideally it would be a platypus, the poster child of sorts for animals once not believed to be real. However, I realize they are extremely hard to care for it captivity, so this may not be possible. In which case, okapi would make a great second choice as the headliner. Although they are not animals, I'd love if it could have a carnivorous plant exhibit as well. I really like the idea of making it look like a fantasy realm, maybe taking some inspiration from fantasy media. Another way to drive home the theme would be to incorporate large, life-like statues of well-known mythical creatures. They could be posed to interact with the environment and the visitors (for example, a griffin perching on a tall rock, looking down on the path where visitors walk). As for the signage, I really like doing it in the style of a bestiary. It would have information about their history of discovery and how it was eventually found to be real, and also incorporate the information you'd normally see in zoo signage so visitors can learn about the animals themselves.
     
  13. Jack Dragonfly

    Jack Dragonfly Well-Known Member

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    An unusual idea I had.

    I like how some zoos have sections that truly make you feel like your in another part of the world like Africa or the Amazon. But what if instead of being based on an existing environment you make one up and fill it with whatever unique creatures you want. You'd be less restricted with your animal options and you can get more creative with the decor.

    Like the backstory of this area could be. "A mysterious rainforest has been uncovered in a cave below Antarctica. You will be joining the latest expedition crew to uncover its secrets." It really taps into a guest's particularly young guests drive to explore and feel like their on an adventure especially if the scenery, exhibit design and the staff sell the concept.

    One of my personal designs would be a lost island featuring regular animals like, crocodiles, lemurs, macaws, maybe a deer or antelope species and also feature animatronic dinosaurs alongside them. Like some kind of real life Skull Island. The dinosaurs wouldn't feel out of place and they could help draw attention to the real animals as well.
     
  14. Mickey

    Mickey Well-Known Member

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    So straight up fantascientific without any educational material whatsoever
     
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  15. Jack Dragonfly

    Jack Dragonfly Well-Known Member

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    The fantasy elements would serve to get people's attention making it easier for educational purposes to snake their way in. From my personal experience people are more likely to learn when they find the material entertaining otherwise they simply do not care. Unless they are already into the science.

    Of course with this approach you can be as creative as you want to be. The location could be a place that exists like Africa or the Amazon. Some examples that I like include Wild Arctic at SeaWorld and Dinosaurs in the Wild in England (Though the latter has no live animals).

    I admit this approach is probably not for everyone. I just like making education entertaining and don't like to be restricted with my creativity.
     
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  16. ifesbob

    ifesbob Well-Known Member

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    I like the idea of an area showcasing how life has changed over evolutionary history, with living representatives of important evolutionary transitions. It would be hard to do in terms of portraying evolution correctly, but it could also be used to showcase what may be unexpected close relationships (euarchontoglires, for instance).
     
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  17. elefante

    elefante Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    I think a zoo showing species native to certain national parks around the world would be interesting. Maybe have areas where guests could donate to the park. ABC species could be displayed as well as unusual ones. I know I've mentioned this numerous times.

    A display of urban species from around the world could also be interesting.

    I like the ones based on mythology that have been mentioned.