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Breakfast With The Butterflies at IMAX

6/7/2013 4:43:13 PM

Enjoy breakfast, a top-rated IMAX film and presentation from an Aquarium expert during Breakfast with the Butterflies at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater on Saturday, June 15.

Millions of Monarch Butterflies in the mountains of Mexico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                              Contact: Thom Benson 423-785-3007
 
Zoom In on a Little Insect’s Long-Distance Journey
Breakfast with the Butterflies June 15th at Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater

 
Chattanooga, Tenn. (June 7, 2013) - If migration was an extreme sport, the monarch butterfly would be the top competitor for “animal that makes the longest insect migration on Earth” These beautiful butterflies cover the distance from Canada to central Mexico. During this epic journey, themonarch life cycle regenerates four times as the insects fly north. The fourth generation, known as the “super generation,” retraces the entire trip back down south, overwinters in and around Mexico and makes one final short trip to the southern United States to lay eggs. Then, the cycle begins again.
 
A lot of the science behind this incredible migration remains unknown, but a Tennessee Aquarium butterfly expert will help reveal some of these natural secrets at the IMAX 3D Theater on Saturday, June 15th during  Breakfast with the Butterflies. Guests will discover fun facts about butterflies (some taste with their feet) as well as learn more about the phenomenal distances monarchs travel.
 
The event includes a delicious breakfast with a view of the IMAX butterfly garden, the special presentation by the Aquarium’s butterfly expert and a mini-tutorial on planting a garden to attract migrating butterflies to your own yard. Each guest will receive a milkweed seedling to help establish their own butterfly way station.
 
After the presentations, guests will also enjoy a screening of Flight of the Butterflies in 3D – one of the highest rated films ever shown at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater. It takes audiences along this journey to witness the monarch’s remarkable migration.
 
One determined scientist spent 40 years trying to discover exactly where the butterflies mysteriously disappeared when they flew south for winter. Filmmakers traveled to the mountains of Mexico to film millions of monarchs in this special refuge. The 3D effect makes it appear as if the theater is filled with butterflies.
 
Unfortunately, monarch numbers have been declining since their secret location was discovered in 1976. The record-breaking heat and drought that gripped much of the United States and Canada in 2012 may have contributed to a steeper decline noticed last year. “This past spring’s migration recorded the lowest numbers ever for the monarchs,” said Jennifer Taylor, Tennessee Aquarium entomologist. “It’s important to look at the things we can all do to protect these butterflies and bring their numbers back up.”
 
“One of the best things people can do for the monarch butterfly is to plant milkweed and other flowers which give nectar in their own yards,” said Chistine Bock, the Aquarium’s lead horticulturist. “Monarchs pass through Chattanooga twice: once in the spring on their way to Canada and again in September on their way to Mexico. The adults lay eggs on the plants and the larvae rely on them for food.”
 
Breakfast with the Butterflies will be held on Saturday, June 15 at the Tennessee Aquarium’s IMAX Theater from 8:30 to 10:45 a.m. The cost is $16 for Aquarium members and $20 for non-members. For registration and more information, visit the Events page at www.tnaqua.org.
 
 
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