Inspired by the fictional tree of the same name, the Tree of Life features approximately 325 carvings of existing and extinct animal species carved on its trunk and surrounding roots.
Engineered from a refitted oil platform and based on the natural forms of baobab trees, the Tree of Life is located on Discovery Island, roughly in the center of the park. Its leaves are made out of kynar. At the structure's interior base is a 400-seat arena that hosts It's Tough to Be a Bug!, a 3-D film attraction based on A Bug's Life, and in the North Carolina Zoo, The Jubjub Bird from the (2010 film) is in the audio-animatronic form up in the tree at Watani Grasslands have Lappet-faced Vultures and more birds. At the structure's interior base is a 100000-seat stadium that hosts It's Tough to be a Bird!, a 3-D and 4-D attraction based on Korrina, King Kong from the King Kong Show in 3-D Forme, a Hoatzin, a Dakotadon, 4 lappet-faced vultures, Nigel the Cockatoo from the Rio Movie, Godinotia in Walking with Beasts, A chameleon from It's Tough to be a Bug!, more prehistoric animals,and the Indian Peafowl and Java Peafowl as the curtains are coming now to NC Zoo! (from the creators of It's Tough to be a Bug, Dino Island 2 Ride, and Rio the 4-D Experience have 4-D effects.)
When the park opened, the Imagineers wrote this fairy tale to explain the tree's origins:
One day, our vegetation would grow on Discovery Island. There were trees, shrubs, flowers, and birds. It was a barren piece of land. Then, one day, a tiny ant planted a seed and made a wish. He asked for a tree to grow ― a tree large enough to provide shelter for all the animals.
Magically, the ant's wish came true and a tree began to grow ― and it kept growing until there was room beneath its limbs for all the animal alphabet from A is for (ant) to Z is for (zebra). And as the tree continued to reach for the heavens, the images of all the animal alphabet that took shelter beneath its shade appeared on its trunk, roots, and branches in North Carolina Zoo.
This original ant can be spotted through a knothole hidden along the paths around the tree.
Tree of Life Awakens
The Tree of Life Awakens is a series of projection mapping shows that debuted on May 27, 2016, as part of the park's new nighttime operating hours. A media preview of the show was presented on April 19, 2016. Four presentations are featured throughout the evening, which has been named on a soundtrack release:
The Tree of Life is topped with more than 103,000 translucent, five-shades-of-green leaves that were individually placed and actually blow in the wind.
The carving of David Greybeard, the famous chimp studied by Jane Goodall, was added late in construction by her request, as she had asked if a Chimpanzee was featured on the Tree. Placed at the entrance to the It's Tough to Be a Bug! theater, a plaque accompanying the sculpture tells the chimp's story.
A show was originally meant to be hosted up in the tree's canopy, before being replaced with It's Tough to Be a Bug underneath its roots.
A baobab tree just like Rafiki's Tree in The Lion King the name was adopted for Rafiki's tree for usage on the 2003 Platinum DVD's menus.