The Living Rainforest has over 700 species of plants and animals to discover across three glasshouses. In addition, there is a ‘Human Impact’ exploration space, children’s play area, cafe and shop.
Philippine Water Monitor and Small Island Rainforests
A Philippine Water Monitor takes centre stage in our new Small Island Rainforests glasshouse, which recreates a coastal tropical rainforest. Enjoy mangrove and coconut trees, unusual palms and other island flora.
How many fish species you can count in the rocky water pools? (Hint: Look for mudskippers, crabs, shrimp and other fabulous small fish.)
Learn how small islands are particularly vulnerable to climate change and rising sea levels.
Goeldi’s monkeys leap from branch to branch, using their well-adapted tails for balance. Careful listeners may hear up to 40 different calls. The Goeldi’s monkeys at the Living Rainforest are part of an international endangered species breeding program. More about Goeldi’s monkeys…
Harry the Armadillo
Harry the six-banded armadillo can usually be seen engaging in his favourite activity – digging and then digging some more.
Don’t worry if you can’t see him immediately, he is probably underground but likely to reappear soon, covered in mud. He is usually most active in the afternoon – try after 2pm.
Tropical trails & a two-toed sloth
Well marked trails let you get close to the plants and animals of the rainforest. Birds, butterflies, lizards – and an elusive but charming sloth named Cinnamon – move about freely as you explore. You never know what you will see next.
Chinese Water Dragon
You might see a Chinese water dragon lazing in the trees or shallow water pools. If you look closely you can see its ‘third eye’ – a small, iridescent, spot between the eyes. This helps it to find the best spot for basking in the sun.
Food and medicine plants that have changed the way we live today, from bananas to coffee, cocoa to ginger, are waiting to be discovered. Familiar houseplants, such as the deadly dumb cane and the Swiss cheese plant, grow to giant proportions in the hot, steamy atmosphere.
Beautiful orchids cling to the trunks of trees year-round, while metre-long turquoise flower spikes from the endangered jade vine hang overhead during late Spring or early Summer.
The bird-eating spider and insect-eating pitcher plants lie in wait for prey. Also look out for our new snake exhibit which is due to open before October Half Term 2016. If the spider or upcoming snake exhibit prove a little too much for some visitors, alternate routes are available! Please ask for a rainforest map at the front reception desk.
Dazzling butterflies take to the air on sunny days, while brightly coloured African turacos fly freely around the rainforest. Roul-roul partridges inhabit the undergrowth and are often seen walking across the paths.
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