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.
26 posts categorized "Animals: Penguins"
November 07, 2013
July 09, 2013
September 10, 2012
If you’ve called recently about booking an encounter with one of our Magellanic penguins, you know that the birds are molting. We suspend the penguin encounters during this two- to three-week period while the birds refeather.
For penguins, molting is an annual process during which they completely replace their plumage. (Some bird species have a second either partial or complete molt during the year.)
“The Magellanics look like shorn sheep,” says Lana Vanagasem, Shedd's supervisor of sea otters and penguins, shown above leading a penguin encounter. The birds probably feel like it, too. She speculates that the sensation of the new feathers emerging from the follicles in the skin is itchy. “They definitely can be irritable during molt,” she says.
January 20, 2012
March 24, 2011
I’ve always had a fascination with penguins, ever since I was a child. However, never in my wildest dreams did I actually think I’d meet a penguin. Then, one day, I sat on a small bench surrounded by strangers (who would quickly become friends based on this amazing shared experience) and there in front of me stood 407. At just under 2 years old, 407 is a juvenile Magellanic penguin and one of the many penguins that are a part of the encounter program at Shedd. This extraordinary experience, similarly to Shedd’s Beluga Encounter and Trainer for a Day programs, allow guests to get a close-up, behind-the-scenes experience - not just for entertainment, but an amazing opportunity to learn more about these beautiful animals.
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!
November 19, 2009
For the top-to-bottom Oceanarium renovation, Kris Nesbitt, senior exhibit designer, and Kara Kotwas, senior graphic designer, saw the underwater viewing gallery as a blank canvas on which to create a universally accessible permanent exhibit where “all children can find something to do.”
November 10, 2009
October 16, 2009
Here's a look back at the renovation of the reimagined Oceanarium. Thanks for supporting Shedd and visit us soon!
Posted by Jay Geneske, web editor
October 08, 2009