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Front Page - Friday, December 29, 2017

‘Conquest of the Skies 3D’ brings incredible views of nature’s fliers to Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater

Whether they’re made of scales, feathers or skin, every flap of an animal’s wings is a testament to nature’s miraculous defiance of gravity.

“Flight is amazing,” says Kevin Calhoon, the Tennessee Aquarium’s curator of forests. “When I think of flight, I think about how much we don’t understand about how it works. I think about migration. I think about the fact that birds can not only fly but also be so maneuverable in the air. It’s amazing.”

On Friday, Dec. 29, “Conquest of the Skies 3D” arrives at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater.

Thanks to innovative camerawork and eye-popping, slow-motion scenes, audiences will see nature’s fliers in a new way.

In “Conquest of the Skies 3D,” the Emmy and BAFTA award-winning team at Atlantic Productions (“Galapagos 3D,” “Penguins 3D”) explore the gamut of nature’s approaches to flight, from the improbable take-off of the enormous Atlas beetle to the leaping glides of Harlequin flying frogs.

Audiences will watch Wrinkle-lipped free-tailed bats snatch insects from the nighttime skies of Borneo and Whooper swans touching down at watery wintering sites in Scotland.

One slow-motion sequence even puts the brakes on the lightning strokes of a hummingbird’s wings, showing how these tiny, jeweled avians can move through the air with insect-like agility.

Through computer-generated imagery, audiences will also watch pterosaurs and other winged reptiles that once ruled the skies take to wing.

“We all dream of flying,” Calhoon says. “Today, with GoPros and drones, we see a lot of views from the air, but to me, it’s what birds can do with those wings that’s special – that they can put so much distance behind them on migrations. That’s what impresses me.”

Beginning Dec. 29, “Conquest of the Skies 3D” will be shown daily at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater at noon, 2 and 4 p.m., with additional 6 p.m. screenings on Friday and Saturday.

Tickets are $11.95 for adults, $9.95 for children (ages 3-12).

Source: Tennessee Aquarium