Venture to Amazonia and get up close to the animals that thrive along the Amazon River — the largest river basin in the world. Explore the flooded forest, rich with turtles, sting rays and arapaima, one of the largest freshwater fishes in the world. Trek through the rainforest where green aracaris and roseate spoonbills roam free.
Catch a training session: keepers use a target to encourage the arowana to leap out of the water to catch prey, just as wild arowana do. Then, discover the buzz around Amazonia's newest exhibit, the Electric Fishes Demonstration Lab. This multisensory lab is home to a 5-foot-long electric eel, capable of generating up to 800 volts of electricity, as well as four black ghost knifefish, more than a dozen bluntnose knifefish and three elephant-nose knifefish.
The lab features LED lights, a wave-form screen and speakers powered by the electricity the electric eel generates. The lights, screen and speaker activate when the electric eel emits a charge—showing off its strength.In the Amazonia Science Gallery, get a look at cutting-edge Zoo science and learn how we are working to protect species around the globe. In the Science Gallery, you can also see two in-depth exhibits — Amphibian Alert and the Coral Lab.
At the Amphibian Alert exhibit, peer into the world of frogs, salamanders, caecilians and other threatened amphibians. Learn how Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) scientists are working to save the wild populations of these species from the deadly chytrid fungus.
At the Coral Lab exhibit, learn how corals support life in the ocean and on land. Watch the tentacles of the elegance coral sway in the current and spot clownfish hiding among the anemones.
SCBI scientists have pioneered techniques for collecting and freezing the genetic material of 12 coral species from around the world. In the future, this material could be used to repopulate reefs that are susceptible to climate change, bleaching and newly emerging diseases.