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Invertebrate Collections in Zoos

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Calyptorhynchus, 15 Apr 2016.

  1. Calyptorhynchus

    Calyptorhynchus Well-Known Member

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    Not sure if this has been brought up before, but I was wondering what would the highest ranking zoos as far as Invertebrate collections and displays go? I am thinking diverse collection, intelligent and engaging displays and investigation work done.
    Hopefully someone has some good input on this :)
     
  2. lintworm

    lintworm Moderator Staff Member

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    In Europe it would be London zoo and Artis Amsterdam imo, their BUGS! display and insectarium are the best and varied I have seen so far.
     
  3. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Bristol Zoo is also a strong contender.
     
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  4. Giant Panda

    Giant Panda Well-Known Member

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    Interesting question.

    I guess the first important point is that no zoo, however "diverse", comes close to representing animal diversity. With more time on my hands, I might work out which collection held the most phyla, for instance. My bet would be an aquarium somewhere with ≤6. Even BUGS only has three I can think of, and the chordate component aren't even invertebrates!

    So the second important point: does it matter? From an armchair perspective, I'm uncomfortable that zoos contribute to society's pervasive and injurious "institutional vertebratism". People criticize Chester for its lack of marsupials or Edinburgh for its lack of birds (and pretty much everything else), but these are minor gaps compared to the lack of arthropods or molluscs. And yet, I've never been at a zoo and wished for a better polychaete collection.

    I guess it depends on whether you think zoos should give people what they want or aim for greater representation. Under that simple dichotomy, those who argue for fewer ABCs and more LBJs should surely be making the case for very large beetle houses.

    Either way, London and Artis should be commended for doing better (with microbes, too, in the latter case) than the leafcutter ant colony which is all most zoos manage.
     
    Last edited: 15 Apr 2016
  5. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Not counting facilities that only showcase invertebrates (such as Insectariums in New Orleans and Montreal) in North America there are two zoos that have world-class collections of "bugs". Cincinnati has an Insect House that is more than three decades old but consists of up to 100 species in a variety of innovative displays. Saint Louis also has a superb Insect House with 65 species plus an assortment of butterflies. Those are the two best zoos in the USA for invertebrates.
     
  6. SHAVINGTONZOO

    SHAVINGTONZOO Well-Known Member

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    Chester has lots of butterflies, but since there's no indication of what they are or where they're from ......
     
  7. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    There are more invebrates at zoos as one would think. Almost every zoo with an aquarium keeps crabs, shrimps ( both freshwater and marine ), corals, anemones, starfish and so on so it is not only what you see in the insect-houses and butterfly-walk-throughs.
     
  8. Mr. Zootycoon

    Mr. Zootycoon Well-Known Member

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    For insects zoos in general have very poor collections.
    While a huge number of beetle (sub)species is kept by private keepers,
    only a handfull can be seen in zoos.

    Only the monst common Tenebrio and Pachnoda species are kept regularly,
    and in almost all cases it considers Tenebrio molitor or Pachnoda marginata peregrina.
    Very few zoos take it one step further and keep Chlorocala or Mecynorrhina beetles,
    although the zoo in Paris is said to keep a Dynastes species.
     
  9. Dennisdoi

    Dennisdoi New Member

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    The National Zoo in Wash. D.C. used to have a Dept. Of Invertebrates. We had corals,mantis shrimp,cockroaches,brittle stars,scorpions,golden orb Weaver spiders,lobster, anemones,giant octopus,hermit crabs,blue crabs,slipper lobsters,leaf cutter ants, bees,zebra longwing butterflies,horseshoe crabs, sand dollars,sea urchins,sea stars,honey bees,Nautilus,cuttlefish,sponges,sea cows,live rock,hissing cockroaches. These were in tanks from room sized and down. From tropical to North West Pacific(I fell in that one feeding the sea stars)We had the Golden Orb Weavers in a corner with no glass or screen around them because they stayed there (generally) because as we explained to visitors that's where we fed them. We had a large greenhouse that you entered as you were leaving called the Pollinarium to highlight pollinators like bees and butterflies. We had hummingbirds in here for their pollinating abilities even though they were not Invertebrates. We cultured paramecium,etc and had them displayed on a microscope hooked up to a TV screen. It was wonderful. I was a volunteer there in 2000 but I left the area in 2001. Since then the Dept of Invertebrates has closed, I don't know why, maybe for budgetary reasons. I think it's a shame especially as more people are becoming interested in Invertebrates.
     
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  10. Coelacanth18

    Coelacanth18 Well-Known Member

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    @Dennisdoi: It is indeed a shame that it was closed. Fortunately, the National Museum of Natural History (also in Washington, DC) has a live invertebrate exhibit that is very good and has several interesting displays, including a live demonstration/handling.
     
  11. SealPup

    SealPup Well-Known Member

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    Best arachnid facility I saw was in the Josef Stalin palace of science and culture, Warsaw. Most zoos omit inverts, and of specialist collections most feature lepidoptera only with maybe a few arachnids and blattoids of the standard species that do turn up in regular zoos. The exceptions are aquaria ofc. But again the species and displays chosen are often unremarkable for the location (many aquaria feature only/mostly local species.) Often I think I could do better, but many such inverts are difficult to obtain or maintain (nudibranchs, starfishes etc.)

    One innovation has been deep sea vent species: how long before giant tubeworms appear in zoo aquaria?
     
  12. Philipine eagle

    Philipine eagle Well-Known Member

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    In Europe, both Koln and Berlin zoos have large collections in their Aquarium & Reptilehouses.