30 posts categorized "Animals: Reptiles"

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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July 22, 2013

A Weighty Anniversary for Nickel


On Nickel’s first day in the 90,000-gallon Caribbean Reef habitat on July 22, 2003, she swam among the fishes, ate a hearty meal, found a cozy place to nap between two elkhorn corals and, during presentations, negotiated the diver’s air line with ease. She took to her new home as if she’d always lived there. Only a few guests noticed Nickel’s unusual swimming posture—head down, rump up.

It was why Nickel had found a home at Shedd.

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May 23, 2013

World Turtle Day

Blanding's Turtle_blog

World Turtle Day, May 23, is an annual celebration of turtles and tortoises, but it's also an occasion to raise awareness about their disappearing habitats around the world. Having thrived for more than 200 million years, these endearing creatures are certainly worthy of celebration and awareness. At Shedd Aquarium, you’ll find least 17 species of turtles that will connect you to the living world and, we hope, inspire you to make a difference. You can start in your own backyard—and maybe that’s the Great Lakes region.

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May 17, 2013

Endangered Species Have Their Day

Endangered mantella sign_blog

May 17 is Endangered Species Day. But we live among threatened and endangered plant and animal species every day. You might see them during a bird walk on the lakefront or on a hike through the Cook County forest preserves. You will see them swimming in Shedd’s exhibits and even growing in our gardens.

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March 16, 2012

Emerald Tree Boa

Emerald-Tree-Boa_blogIn 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.

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October 31, 2011

The Invisible Hellbender

Gather ’round and listen to my tale of Shedd Aquarium’s most mysterious animal, the invisible hellbender.

What’s a hellbender, you say? Why, it’s a phantom amphibian, a salamander up to 2 feet long, wrinkled, slimy and beady-eyed, given to making its home under rocks in clear, fast-flowing streams. And while it has lungs, it never has to come up for air. Legend has it hellbenders cavort with trolls and troglodytes on moonless nights.

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October 19, 2011

Animal Encounters of the Spooky Kind

TarantulaIt’s the season for ghoulies, ghosties, long-leggedy beasties and things that go bump in the night. So just in time for Halloween and our Oct. 28 Spooky Seas family overnight, meet this trio of long-leggedy, short-leggedy and no-leggedy beasties. They’re among the stars of our daily live-animal encounters. 

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September 23, 2011

Concert to Keep the Lakes Great

The Concert to Keep the Lakes Great starring Guster was a great success! Our audience enjoyed a live performance by Guster on the beautiful lakefront setting of The Dock at Montrose Beach. Thank you to all the wonderful fans that attended the show. A special thank you to sponsors of Shedd's Great Lakes conservation efforts: Coca-Cola and ArcelorMittal, as well as our event partner, 93XRT.


Guster performs at the Concert to Keep the Lakes Great.


Fans enjoy live music at The Dock on Montrose Beach.


The Great Lakes Booth at the event, featuring turtles native
to the Great Lakes.

All photos by Steve Hardy, CBS Digital Chicago.

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July 13, 2011

Name Your Poison: Sea Snakes

Yellow-bellied sea snake Sea snakes did not make the cut for Wild Reef. The strikingly striped blue-lipped sea kraits—all bold bands of turquoise and black—would have required a fairly large habitat all to themselves among the realistically teeming multispecies displays.

And, of course, these elapids—hissing cousins of cobras, taipans and terrestrial kraits—are among the most venomous snakes in the world.

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June 06, 2011

Sea Change

Rock-Iguana-blog To celebrate World Oceans Day on June 8, we'll be posting every day this week about current issues facing oceans.

We rely on the oceans to regulate the world’s temperatures, provide us with food and produce most of the oxygen we breathe every day. Just as the seas support us, we protect them by responsibly managing marine resources, from our global fisheries to our coastal tourist hotspots. Now the oceans are facing a threat that we must work together to address: climate change.

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