The Phoenix Zoo presents “Bugs. BIG BUGS!,” a new exhibition showcasing 21 larger-than-life bugs scattered throughout the zoo’s Desert Lives Trail. Guests will encounter a 15-foot-high emperor scorpion, a 20-foot-wide Mexican red kneed tarantula, a spitting bombardier beetle and a 7-spotted ladybird and a Madagascan sunset moth among other creatures.
Beautifully detailed, the bugs are made from a combination of steel, fiberglass and skin material made from a special urethane compound that protects them against sun, rain and snow, making them perfect to display in their natural environment. Like the past dinosaurs exhibition, the realistic movements on the bugs are powered by a pneumatic system that enables smoother and finer movements.
Insects make up nearly 80 percent of all animal species on Earth. Without them, life would be remarkably different. Bugs – insects, arachnid and other arthropods and their kin – play a major role in the natural ecosystem through pollination, recycling of plant material and their function in the food web.
“Insects are key components of biological communities and play numerous, critically important roles,” says Drew Foster, animal curator for the Phoenix Zoo. “They contribute greatly to nutrient cycling, the trophic web, as both predator and prey, and successful reproduction of flora through pollination, a process crucial to all life as we know it. The survival of most plant and animal species truly depends upon insects, either directly or indirectly.”
Bugs. BIG BUGS!
Through April 28, 2019
Phoenix Zoo, 455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix
For more information, visit phoenixzoo.org.