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Shanghai’s first popular science exhibition of birds opens in shopping center
By:Xu Yiran  |  From:english.eastday.com  |  2019-01-09 09:39

How long does it take for a chicken to break its shell? How many times a second do different kinds of birds flap their wings to fly? What is the reed parrotbills’ favorite food?

Answers to all these questions can be found in the "Magic Bird Camp" exhibition, which opened on January 5. Interestingly, this exhibition, planned by the Shanghai Natural History Museum (a branch of the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum) for children aged 3-8, is not located in a popular science venue, but has been moved to a business district in Pudong.

(Bird-like hats in the Masquerade area [Photo/Shanghai Natural and History Museum])

The whole camp covers about 200 square meters, consisting of four thematic exhibition halls that resemble yurts, and an educational activity area. Visitors can experience the “appearance, food, shelter and mobility” of birds in an immersive environment. In the Masquerade exhibition area, audiences can design appearances for the red and green macaws and the great bird of paradise, or wear cloaks and bird-like hats to play at being a bird. At the dining table in the Bird Restaurant exhibition area, "guests" such as whale storks and white spoonbills have been seated, waiting for audiences to serve them appropriate delicacies. The most popular part of the exhibition is the artificial incubator in the Experimental Site exhibition area. Rows of eggs and several fluffy chickens vividly show which comes first between the chicken and the egg. Also, audiences can intuitively know the humidity, temperature, time and other conditions required for bird hatching.

(Children design birds’ appearances. [Photo/Shanghai Natural and History Museum])

For the exhibition, the museum has designed a series of cartoon characters based on the reed parrotbill. According to Liu Nan from the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, the reed parrotbill is a rare bird species found in China and is known as the “panda of birds”. Unlike many birds, reed parrotbills, do not migrate to distant places. Some people call them “Shanghai aborigines”, as the reed parrotbill is one of the representative birds of Shanghai. In this exhibition, reed parrotbills’ cartoon images as fashion designer, cook, architect and pilot are eye-catching in every exhibition area. “In order to meet the children's perception needs and ensure popular science awareness, we have invited a number of professional teams to design and modify these cartoon characters, in order to achieve the best final effect,” said Liu Nan.

The free exhibition will last until January 20, and may be introduced into some primary schools in Pudong New Area later. This is not the first time the Shanghai Natural and History Museum has introduced a popular science exhibition to Pudong’s business district. After the "How to Resurrect a Dinosaur Exhibition" popular science exhibition was launched in 2017, it has been displayed in several shopping malls such as Kerry Parkside in Pudong New Area.