96 posts categorized "Animals: Fishes"

December 28, 2013

Shedd Celebrates the Endangered Species Act’s 40th Anniversary

Blue Head Iguana__480P7311

Forty years ago today, President Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act to help save animals, plants and their habitats from extinction. Today, we celebrate the successes of the law and the 2,140 species it continues to protect – including 14 endangered or threatened species at Shedd.

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November 30, 2013

Uncommon Common Names

Raccoon  Butterflyfish 1234

Hello, my name is Raccoon Butterflyfish.

There are a lot of weird names out there, especially for animal species. Since people name the animals they discover, it’s no wonder they get a little…interesting. Take for instance the Calponia harrisonfordi, a spider named in honor of Harrison Ford, or Irwin's turtle, discovered by crocodile hunter Steve Irwin. But species don’t have to be named after anybody. In fact, discoverers can get pretty creative when it comes to thinking up worthy names.

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November 25, 2013

Get chummy with the sharks and rays on this tour


Experience Wild Reef in a deeper way: the new behind-the-scenes feeding tour. You’ll tread where few but the shark team go to witness mealtime for some of the most exciting—and misunderstood—species at Shedd: the sharks and rays.

You’ll even have a hand in feeding some of the fishes.

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November 15, 2013

DuPage County Fifth-Graders Release Smallmouth Bass and Learn about Big Sustainable Seafood Issues

Bass in the Class

Imagine you’re a fifth-grader. You’re interested in friends, fun extracurricular activities, new movies and… how about sustainable seafood? 

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November 07, 2013

Long-lived and going strong

Grandad vintage

As veterinary science advances at a clip that rivals human medicine, animals in aquariums and zoos are living not just healthier but also longer lives. Australian lungfish Granddad, shown above in 1933, celebrated his 80th anniversary at Shedd earlier this year. Along with being Shedd’s oldest animal, he’s also the oldest fish in any public zoological facility in the world. But is he a senior or is he just middle-aged? Like 60 is the new 40 for a lot of people, several of Shedd’s longevity-busters are in their prime, thanks to excellent care—and, of course, good genes.

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October 31, 2013

Shedd's Masters of Disguise

Weedy Scorpionfish

Every Halloween, we don costumes and become someone (or something) else. But when the night is over, we hang our costumes in the closet and wipe off the last stubborn streak of face paint, once again ourselves. For some animals at Shedd, disguises are not a once-a-year event: They are a lifestyle.

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September 29, 2013

Keeping Our Rivers Great, Too

Congo River Puffer_8326 (2) - BLOG

Happy World Rivers Day! Today we celebrate the many values of our waterways and encourage involvement in promoting their health.    

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September 18, 2013

Here’s to at Least 80 More, Granddad!


More than 100 guests, Shedd staff members and volunteers crowded the Rivers gallery on Tuesday morning to wish Australian lungfish Granddad a happy 80th anniversary.

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September 14, 2013

Bighead Carp Get Shedd TLC, Too


The Fishes department sprang into action as soon as word came that field biologists from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) would soon be at Shedd’s doorstep with three large bighead carp they’d netted in the Humboldt Park lagoon. We had to prepare for the animals’ arrival!

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August 09, 2013

Shark Matchmaking


What do you think of when you hear the word “studbook”? Thoroughbred horses? Pedigreed dogs? How about sharks?

Lise Watson, Wild Reef collection manager, compiled and maintains the studbook for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan, or SSP, for zebra sharks. An SSP is a carefully managed breeding program developed for species that are declining in the wild. Zebra sharks are heavily fished throughout most of their range, and their reef habitat is disappearing. The SSP is designed to establish healthy, genetically diverse and sustainable populations at Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) member organizations.

“I’m kind of a matchmaker,” Lise quips—one who keeps a detailed and constantly updated database and works with a geneticist and population biologists to make the best-informed choices for several hundred zebra sharks at more than 30 North American aquariums and zoos.

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