7 posts from April 2010
April 26, 2010
April 21, 2010
Since the first Earth Day was celebrated forty years ago, the focus has been on awareness and environmental action. However, most attention in the past has focused on "terrestrial earth", even though most of the earth’s surface is covered by water.
April 20, 2010
As part of Shedd’s sustainable seafood program, Right Bite, local culinary students often take field trips to Shedd to discover the relationship between the fish in the ocean and the fish in their kitchens. The students learn about Shedd’s five primary concerns with commercial fishing, connect firsthand with animals impacted by these concerns, and leave the aquarium with the tools and knowledge necessary to make seafood choices that will help protect our oceans.
April 19, 2010
When the winds kick up in Chicago, I often see plastic bags take flight from where they lie discarded on the ground. They lift higher and higher until they disappear against the clouds or behind a high rise. Have you ever wondered where they land?
More often than we might expect, the answer is the Great Lakes. In other places, rain and urban runoff sweep those bags into stormwater drains and out to sea. The natural flow of ocean currents and the almost eternal life span of plastic trash even mean that there are huge floating skeins of garbage, such as this Texas-sized "garbage patch" in the Pacific Ocean.
April 15, 2010
It’s April 15, and you know what that means… it’s time to put nesting rocks in the penguin habitat! Thanks to a nutritious diet, a realistic landscape and exhibit lights that are timed to replicate seasonal changes in day length, the rockhopper penguins are going into mating mode. Each year around April 15, we begin scattering smooth river rocks, small enough to fit in a cupped hand or a penguin’s mouth, throughout the rocky exhibit. Pretty soon the males are picking them up and waddling them over to prime nesting real estate. One male has actually staked out two nest sites. Another, who has been stealing rocks from his neighbors, has constructed a nest in the center of the habitat. We’ve also put out twigs to encourage the two mated pairs of Magellanic penguins. This species nests under shrubs or in shallow sand burrows. The trainers say, however, that these birds are still pretty new to the habitat and may not feel settled in enough to breed this year. Meanwhile, the rockhoppers have decided that the twigs add a nice touch—or maybe feel—to their nests. While the birds are totally serious about this—and even more territorial than usual—it’s a lot of fun to watch. Visit soon!
April 14, 2010
April 01, 2010
Not long ago, the Right Bite team visited Whole Foods Market to purchase ingredients for one of our sustainable seafood cooking demos. (The next one is on April 6 in the Oceans gallery. Join us to learn how to prepare the recipe at the end of this post!) At the register, we noticed some fun gift cards on display. They had the phrase "Just for the Halibut" printed on them – ha! Coincidentally, those gift cards highlight Shedd’s April Fish of the Month: wild Pacific halibut.