Image courtesy of the AMNH.
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The Butterfly Conservatory: Tropical Butterflies Alive in Winter,” an annual favorite, returns to the American Museum of Natural History. Celebrating its 22nd year at the Museum, this popular attraction transforms the coolest day into a summer escape, inviting visitors to mingle with up to 500 fluttering, iridescent butterflies among blooming tropical flowers and lush green vegetation in 80-degree temperatures. Inside a 1,200-square-foot vivarium, a freestanding transparent structure aflutter with activity, visitors interact with butterflies as they stroll along a winding pathway surrounded by tropical plants and vibrant blossoms. Powerful halide lamps shine down from the ceiling, simulating the sunlight that streams through a rain forest canopy. In the vivarium, monarchs, zebra longwings, paper kites – just some of the many butterfly species included in this presentation –  flutter among people and plants. The conservatory’s butterflies come from farms in Florida, Costa Rica, Kenya, Thailand, Malaysia, Ecuador, and Australia.