Tiny Giants: From Minibeasts to Coral Reefs, is now open!
Shining a spotlight on the planet’s smallest superheroes: from underwater corals and the aquatic wildlife they support, to industrious leafcutter ants, spiders and beetles – the exhibit celebrates the species we quite literally couldn’t live without.
Visitors will be given a bugs-eye view of the world, as they find themselves shrunk to the size of an ant, surrounded by a garden of giant leaves and flowers, to enter the Zoo’s newest exhibit.
See through the eyes of a bug - from multi-lensed bees and HD vision jumping spiders to the psychedelic sight of a mantis shrimp - before trying to spot miniature masters of camouflage and meeting the multi-talented aquatic animals who clean our oceans, seas and rivers.
Take a break beneath the watery lights of a seven-metre-long reef aquarium, where visitors can watch schools of reef fish, including clownfish and blue tangs - known to many as Nemo and Dory - swim through a forest of corals rescued from the illegal wildlife trade by London Zoo’s experts. Step away and be mesmerised by the gentle movement of moon jellyfish, floating next door in all their translucent glory. Please note that the corals area is closed to the public from 10.30am-11.15am Monday-Fridays during term time while we hold our Sensory Stories sessions.
Visit the Zoo’s Partula Lab, where Critically Endangered tree snails are being reared as part of a vital breeding and reintroduction programme to save the species from extinction. Snails bred at London Zoo are released on the islands of French Polynesia - after invasive predators drove the species to extinction in the 1960s.
Take a trip to In with the Spiders and the UK’s only spider walkthrough - where nothing stands between visitors and a clutter of golden orb spiders in their beautiful webs - plus discover other amazing arachnids and their incredible skills.
FInd out more about some of the inhabitants of Tiny Giants and meet our family of arachnids living in our spider walkthrough, In With The Spiders
Get a behind-the-scenes look at conservation in action, in our Tiny Giants exhibit
The International Partula Conservation Programme has been co-ordinated by ZSL since 1994 involves a managed breeding programme for 25 species of partula snail in 15 zoos worldwide, together with extensive work in the species natural range areas with local conservationists and government agencies.
Take a glimpse into the working breeding labs with our viewing window, inside our Tiny Giants exhibit. This is a working lab, so you may be lucky enough to see some of our passionate experts at work, doing everything they can to save the species.
Critically Endangered tree snails are being reared as part of a vital breeding and reintroduction programme to save the species from extinction. Snails bred at London Zoo are released on the islands of French Polynesia - after invasive predators drove the species to extinction in the 1960s.
So, you want to know more about our creepy crawlie friends. Here goes:
- An ant 3mm long has been observed dragging prey 6mm long back to its nest. This is equivalent to a human dragging a small car by their teeth over a distance of 8km
- A particular Asian moth has evolved to feed on the tears of buffalo.
- Fireflies are beetles that use light to attract a mate.
- A colony of army ants may reach over 700,000 individuals.
- When a flea jumps it accelerates at a rate 20x faster than a rocket being launched into space
- Without bees we would have little in the way of fruit, vegetables or sugar. As pollinators they are vital to the life cycle of many plants
- The combined weight of all the insects in the world is 12 times greater than the weight of the entire human population.
- For every human alive, there are 200 million insects.
- To avoid being eaten, stick insects hold their twig-lie bodies and legs at the correct angle on a branch, they even sway like twigs when a breeze blows.
- Malaysian giant stick insect eggs are just 4mm wide, but when the baby stick insects hatch they are already 70cm long!