Tis the season to celebrate a bountiful harvest. The rainforest biologists would like to give thanks that we are able to offer a wide variety of high quality food for the animals in our charge. This exhibit contains many different taxa that require many different food items. Here is a sample menu of what some of our rainforest inhabitants will be having for their Thanksgiving weekend….
Their diet consists of fruit, nuts, seeds, pellet, and vegetables.
Their diet consists of fruit, seeds, vegetables, pellet, and protein items.
We use several feeder insect species, including the larvae stage of mealworms Tenebrio molitor, waxworms Galleria mellonella, and soldier fly Hermetia illucens
Carnivorous, herbivorous, or omnivorous; reptile diets are as diverse as the reptiles themselves. Some reptiles even eat other reptiles!
Below are some of the feeder rodents we utilize. We order these frozen from a company that raises them specifically for food and humanely euthanizes them. They are then thawed out over a 24 hour period and then warmed so that the heat-sensing reptiles find them deliciously attractive.
Not as diverse in their nutritional requirements as reptiles, most of our amphibians enjoy insects.
Below is the ubiquitous cricket Acheta domesticus, probably the most popular feeder insect. We feed out various stages, from newly hatched (called pinhead) to adults, like below.
Most butterflies are nectar eaters, though the owls and blue morphos like over ripe fruit as well. Here is a Heliconicus ismenius drinking nectar from one of the many nectar-producing plants in the rainforest. We also provide artificial nectar daily along with ripe fruit.
Fish eat almost everything that is dropped into their tank!
Some of the frozen fish we feed to our collection fish and other creatures at the Academy: capelin Mallotus villosus, herring Clupea spp, and trout Oncorhynchus mykiss.
It takes quite a bit of research and time to create diets that fulfill so many varied nutritional requirements for our hugely diverse live animal collection. Below you can see one of our paradise tanagers Tangara chilensis next to its diet. Enjoy your Thanksgiving everyone!