11 posts from October 2013
October 31, 2013
October 29, 2013
Shedd Aquarium lost one of its most enchanting family members today when the animal care and animal health teams made the difficult but humane decision to euthanize 21½-year-old North American river otter Rio. Her health and quality of life had deteriorated recently due to her advanced age. Rio exceeded by nearly a decade the known median life expectancy for river otters—12 years according to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums—thanks to excellent care, including advances in geriatric veterinary medicine, and her own zest for everything.
October 27, 2013
Your seafood choices can have a big impact on the health of our waters worldwide. October is National Seafood Month, and Shedd’s Right Bite team encourages you to be sure your impact is positive by deepening your understanding of issues surrounding seafood consumption and becoming an advocate for sustainable seafood. Seafood is our last major source of wild-caught food, and while farm-raised fish are increasingly common in the marketplace, the majority of seafood worldwide continues to come from wild populations.
October 22, 2013
October 21, 2013
an independent documentary-style film debuted in select theaters across the country focused on the unfortunate 2010 death of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau. Through creative editing, Blackfish
attempts to “expose” SeaWorld’s supposed negligence in areas from employee safety to animal welfare through allegations made by a handful of former trainers depicted in the film. Some of the emotional-evoking claims about animal care and training practices conveyed in the movie no doubt leave the audience feeling conflicted and confused about the moral and ethical validity of orcas in aquariums and marine parks.
October 19, 2013
We all know the Earth’s surface is two-thirds water, most of which constitutes the world’s oceans. But did you know that 25 percent of marine life depends directly on coral reefs? Like cities, coral reefs cover a disproportionately small area—only 1 percent of total marine habitat—but these bustling underwater metropolises are home to a richness of life that rivals tropical rainforests.
October 11, 2013
October 10, 2013
Cephalopod Awareness Days (Oct. 8 through 12) give us an opportunity to learn more about this class of invertebrates that ruled the seas millions of years before the first primitive fish shook a tailfin.
I had the privilege of learning about chambered nautiluses firsthand when senior aquarist Laura Hilstrom invited me behind the scenes to help feed her charges in Wild Reef. Nautiluses trace their ancestry back 500 million years to the Cambrian period. They are the last of the externally shelled cephalopods and the most primitive members of their class, which also includes octopuses, squids and cuttlefishes.
October 04, 2013
Sustainably caught or raised seafood not only tastes better (just ask the Right Bite team), but it’s also an easy and important way to protect our oceans and lakes. The Fish of the Month for October is wild Alaskan MSC-certified salmon, which is on Shedd’s “best choice list” for sustainability. This refreshing and healthy recipe for grilled Alaskan salmon with grapefruit and avocado salsa is a delicious and sustainable dish that we know you’ll enjoy!
What has nine brains and three hearts? The giant Pacific octopus, the largest species of octopus in the world! That’s right, these eight-legged hermitlike creatures may prefer creepy crevices and shadowy shoals along the Pacific coast from Southern California to Alaska, but they’re highly evolved and intelligent cephalopods. Cephalopod literally means “head-foot,” an appropriate name for a creature whose body consists of a soft, billowy head surrounded by eight curling arms.