Amazon Adventure: the Story of a 19th Century Naturalist comes to Giant Screen Theaters

Henry Walter Bates is relatively unknown, unlike Charles Darwin, but his contributions to evolutionary science are significant. As a young man, Bates risked his life for science during his 11-year expedition into the Amazon rainforest. He identified 8,000 species new to science and discovered the phenomenon of mimicry (whereby a non-toxic animal acquired the appearance of a non-toxic one).
Most importantly, he put forth the first ever case for speciation, the means by which a new species is created. Charles Darwin called this the “beautiful proof” needed for his theory of natural selection.

Now his story is told on the giant screen. Filmed on location in the Amazon (not the website!) this movie is absolutely gorgeous–especially in 3D. I saw it Tuesday at the American Museum of Natural History and I highly recommend it. So see if your favorite IMAX theater is showing it. The film’s website is here – Amazon Adventure – where you can view the trailer, learn more about the film, and view teacher resources.


Ashamed to say I’ve never heard of the guy, but that looks fascinating. I’d see it if I didn’t live out in the boonies, but I’ll definitely keep an eye out for when it’s available on video.

Don’t feel ashamed. I hadn’t heard of him either. He is relatively unknown. Even the museum copy for the movie reads, “Amazon Adventure traces the extraordinary journey of 19th-century naturalist and explorer Henry Walter Bates—the most influential scientist you’ve never heard of…”

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