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Butterflies and Bugs

by becca on January 27, 2010

Our final day in George Town, we ventured out to the Penang Butterfly Farm. This involved an hour long bus ride on a really nice city bus, and a 1 km walk from the main street that hugs the coast of Penang. Cheesy as it sounds, this place was really cool — sort of like a zoo dedicated to bugs and reptiles.

The “farm” is home to over 4000 butterflies of 120 different species, and upon walking in we were surrounded immediately. Every direction we looked there were butterflies of different colors, shapes, and sizes. One followed Nate through the entire outdoor area.

In addition to the butterflies, we saw a meter-long monitor lizard, an alligator snapping turtle, and thousands of insects, both alive and behind glass with neat titles and pins stuck through them. My favorite was the (live) Orchid Mantis, which looks like the flower and attracts and attacks unassuming butterflies. Other fun tidbits: There are over 350,000 species of beetle. Tarantulas’ bites are not lethal, in fact they do little more than make you itch. And finally, butterflies are a natural indicator of an ecosystem’s condition — they start to disappear when the ecosystem is disturbed by deforestation, pollution, etc.

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