By Donny LaPlume (GDES ’18)
I am writing on behalf of the Global Environment Earth Science Lab (what a name). We went to the Montreal Biodome and I cannot stress how adorable a lynx with a box is!
Like seriously look at that. It is a wild animal, climbing into a box. Everything you think you know about cats is flippin’ right!
But in all seriousness the Biodome is a fantastic place. There were 4 different exhibits we got see in our time there. An Amazon environment, one themed on the forests of North America, The Gulf of Saint Lawrence, and the Arctic.
The first area we saw was the Amazon rainforest. Walking into it was like getting smacked in the face with a humidifier. It was hot and smelled kinda funky, but the view was incredible. The trees were lush, there were birds making the sounds of hell, and there was a capybara which I had no idea was so big. Like seriously they are like the size of a Labrador. Oh and again, they smell funky.
We explored around and found birds, caimans, turtles, and the ugliest parrots you can imagine (I’ll save your eyes and not put a picture up). I however spent the whole time looking for the elusive sloths. Apparently there are 5 or 6 sloths that strut about in the fashion only a sloth has the patience for. They hang from the top of the trees and are very hard to find. The zookeepers there usually know where they are but nobody had seen them yet when we got there. After about 20 minutes of searching I finally had to move on and accept my loss.
Next we had my backyard. The forests of North America are home to some pretty “cute” critters. They had a beaver tank with a few ducks showing off, a group of raccoons that are surprisingly adept at getting shellfish out of water tanks, and a lot of ducks. Like a lot. They had a group of otters but they were all asleep inside their burrow so we did not get to see them.
I spent a lot of time watching the beavers. They swam around, and would go inside their dam every now and again. There was even a livestream so you could watch the beavers eating.
On the way out of this exhibit was of course the best part of the tour.
THE LYNX HAVE A FRICKIN’ BOX!
There were 4 lynx running around. Some were tossing around a very large rat waiting for us to start recording them so they could immediately stop and waste our camera space. Then there were 2 that kept taking turns climbing inside the box. They were adorable, and probably a little deadly.
The North American exhibit blended into the Saint Lawrence Marine ecosystem so well I thought they were the same exhibit at first. When you walked up the ramp there was a large deep pool covered in ducks and seagulls, but when you walked beneath it there was a whole world of underwater fish. Personally this was my least favorite part of the tour. Fish are cool and all but there wasn’t a lot of variety in them.
Finally we got to the end of the tour. The designated meeting spot, and where I was briefly swarmed by a cult of kindergartners who understood far more French than I do. The penguin room. Seriously penguins everywhere. Let me just tell you penguins and lynx would probably get along great. The second I pulled out a camera to start recording them, POOF! They would just stop doing anything interesting whatsoever. Seriously, they had a crazy game of king of the hill, but nope. No pics. Just smile and wave boys.
Overall the tour was a blast, and the animals were pretty cool. The tour gives a pretty good sense of have drastically different these biomes can be. Overall I strongly recommend the Biodome.
PLUS THE LYNX HAVE A BOX AND IT IS THE BEST THING EVER!