Are you familiar with Earth Hour? On Saturday, March 31, between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m., people around the world will turn off their lights to reduce their carbon footprints and raise awareness about global climate change. This inspiring event, which was conceived by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature, first took place in Sydney, Australia, in 2007. It has grown to include more than 5,200 cities and towns in 135 countries. In downtown Chicago, participating buildings will go dark for an hour, and at Shedd, we’ll support this global initiative by turning off our exterior lights and those illuminating our dome for 60 minutes.
6 posts from March 2012
March 31, 2012
March 16, 2012
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we couldn’t think of a better animal to highlight than the emerald tree boa.
Wait, you say, the patron saint of Ireland was no friend of snakes, legendarily driving them out of the Emerald Isle.
We’ll get to that.
First, let’s look at our 3-foot male emerald tree boa in Amazon Rising. While he’d be perfectly camouflaged on Ireland’s rolling greensward, he’s adapted to the equally verdant canopy of the Amazon rainforest. Neatly coiled in concentric loops on a branch, with head in the middle, and absolutely motionless, he disappears into the green like just another vine. The white zigzag pattern along his back imitates the mottled sunlight that penetrates the forest’s dense leaves.
March 09, 2012
Happy birthday to river otter Rio! She’s 20 today. Rio came to us from the Little Rock (Arkansas) Zoo when she was 6 months old. She likes her special handmade meatballs, and she especially enjoys munching the heads of the herring she gets. And while she is an older otter, Rio still has fun playing with toys—she has a small closet full of them. Her favorites are the kind that can be stuffed with food, such as Kong toys.
When Rio came to Shedd in 1992, her species was on the Illinois endangered species list, with a population of perhaps 100. Thanks to a successful reintroduction program begun in 1994, there are now more than 10,000 river otters in Illinois waterways. Many happy returns, indeed.
Posted by Karen Furnweger, web editor
March 06, 2012
The stork is going to have to call out the reinforcements: Shedd is expecting not one but two marine mammal calves, a Pacific white-sided dolphin in spring and a beluga whale due sometime in the fall.
We’re excited about these pending additions to the Shedd animal family. Beluga mom Mauyak (MY-ak) and dolphin mom Piquet (pee-KEHT) are healthy, and so far their pregnancies are progressing normally. And from our regular prenatal monitoring of the moms and the fetuses, we are already adding to what is known about two species that are not often seen in aquariums and are challenging to study in the ocean.
March 02, 2012
Sea lion Otis led a charmed life. Marked as one of a group of “nuisance” sea lions that repeatedly had to be removed from around the Bonneville Dam, his time was just about up when a creative reprieve brokered by wildlife officials and the zoo and aquarium community brought him to Shedd in 2009.
Yesterday, our animal health and care team made the difficult decision to euthanize the beloved 13-year-old California sea lion after a rapid decline in his health due to an aggressive form of cancer. The same disease occurs in wild populations of his species, and Shedd’s scientists hope that what we can learn from our loss will contribute to saving other sea lions, both in aquariums and in the wild.
March 01, 2012
Your seafood choices can have a big impact on the health of our oceans and lakes – so make sure they’re positive ones! Every month, Shedd’s Right Bite team highlights a sustainable seafood option that’s both good for you and our planet. The Fish of the Month for March isn't a fish, but it's just as tasty—the farmed clam.