Higher plant species
Of the world's bird species
Annual rainfall in the Amazon
Tributaries flow into the Amazon
The Aquarium buys captive-bred fishes from tropical fish dealers in Vancouver and wild-caught fishes from sustainable fisheries. Animals not available through the pet dealers or sustainable fisheries are traded between AZA accredited zoos and aquariums. Some animals are bred here at the Aquarium or at other aquariums and zoos.
The piranhas at the Aquarium are carnivores and eat fishes. Other piranhas eat the scales and fins of other fishes, and still others eat fruits and nuts. To discover the feeding strategy of a particular piranha species, look at the shape of its teeth. The shape of their teeth varies for tearing, grinding or crushing foods.
Freshwater stingrays are very dangerous. They do not attack people, but their venomous spines can cause injury to anyone who steps on them in the often opaque waters of the Amazon. Look for stingrays beside the piranha exhibit. The electric eel is another potentially dangerous fish. Long electric eels can kill by discharging between 400 and 600 volts of electricity. The longer they are, the more power they have.
To illustrate the effect this has on the ecosystem, a one hectare tract of rainforest may support 750 tree species, 125 mammal species, 400 bird species, 150 butterfly species and 100 reptile species. These animals are lost or must move when the forest is cleared.
The temperature is maintained at 27°C during the day and 22°C at night. Spray misters keep the humidity near 75 percent. Lights in the habitat turn on and off gradually, simulating dawn and dusk in the Amazon.
The birds and sloths are much more comfortable in the forested areas away from visitors. In the evening the doors are closed at the entrance and exit of the rainforest habitat. This prevents the birds and other animals from wandering away from the gallery overnight.
The Vancouver Aquarium will be temporarily closed to the public starting Tuesday, March 17, 2020 and all programming will be cancelled as a preventative measure to help stop the spread of COVID-19 through our community. Learn more.