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.
24 posts categorized "Animals: Sharks"
May 17, 2013
May 05, 2013
It’s Cinco de Mayo, a major celebration in Chicago. At Shedd Aquarium, you’ll meet some of Mexico’s most intriguing freshwater animals, like the ghostly blind cave fish and those tadpoles for life, axolotls, in the Islands and Lakes gallery. The iguana habitat in this gallery features reef fishes you’d find if you were diving off Cozumel or Yucatan.
August 13, 2012
Happy 25th anniversary of Shark Week! After you’ve celebrated by taking a self-guided tour with our new Ten Fun Finds: Sharks at Shedd map, mosey back to the Oceans gallery to meet the spotted ratfish, a distant relative of sharks—so distant that we’re calling him the unshark.
On Wednesday, August 15, from 1:30 to 2 p.m. CST, Shedd's online audiences will have the chance to ask our shark experts their shark-related questions during our live Twitter chat.
Join the conversation on Twitter (our handle is @shedd_aquarium) using #sharkchat. If you don't have a Twitter account, we're always happy to answer your questions on Facebook, too. Leave us a message or post on our Facebook wall and we'll pass your questions along to our experts.
July 25, 2012
There’s no better place than the sunken ray pool in Wild Reef to see how the fiddler ray got its common name. The disk and large pelvic fins form the familiar figure-8 shape, and the long tail resembles a violin’s neck, complete with peg box (represented by the two prominent triangular dorsal fins that identify this species) and scroll (the caudal fin). The eyes and spiracles (small openings in front of the eyes that allow the ray to take water into its gills when it’s at rest on the ocean floor) can almost pass for the f holes, or perhaps the fine tuners. (The illustration of the fiddler ray was done by virtuoso staff graphic designer Sally Smith.)
Appropriately, at least for our Jazzin’ at the Shedd series, the fiddler ray is in the same taxonomic family as the guitarfish.
July 03, 2012
On Sunday, in Shedd’s Wild Reef exhibit, aquarium staff members and special guests marked a historic day for the state of Illinois and international shark conservation. House Bill 4119, sponsored by State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) and State Sen. Antonio Munoz (D-Chicago), was signed into law by Governor Pat Quinn against the backdrop of Shedd’s 400,000-gallon shark habitat. It will ban the sale, trade, or distribution of shark fins in the state of Illinois. Supporters of the legislation, including the Center for Oceanic Awareness Research and Education, the Humane Society of the United States and the Natural Resources Defense Council were present for the bill signing. Shedd's Executive Vice President of External Affairs & Communications Roger Germann gave opening remarks, while Senior Aquarist Heather Thomas closed the ceremony by placing the importance of shark conservation into context.
June 27, 2012
To celebrate the 18th season of Jazzin’ at the Shedd—which kicks off tonight at 5 p.m.—we’re turning the spotlight on some of our most instrumental animals. No fish at Shedd represents blues-tinged jazz better than our whitespotted guitarfish, Lucille.
August 10, 2011
Here, in the ocean primeval—well, one of Shedd’s original saltwater galleries—live two species of catshark, family Scyliorhinidae.
One is known as a dogfish, and the other barks like a dog.
Chain dogfish (and interchangeably, chain catshark) perfectly describes this little shark’s stunning pattern of dark brown links on a pale gold background. Look for three in the habitat. The largest—about 15 inches long—is the female. “We’ve had these since about 2003,” Ernie says. “When they came in, they were about the length of a cigarette.” The sharks are fully grown now.
August 04, 2011
Can sharks be cute? The trio of bonnetheads cruising the Caribbean Reef certainly come close. The smallest species in the hammerhead family, bonnetheads (Sphyrna tiburo) have a flattened, crescent-shaped head, more like a rounded shovel than a hammer. And, in fact, they dig rather than hit when hunting.
Foremost among the bonnetheads is a 6½-year-old female born at Shedd. Michelle Sattler, collection manager of the Caribbean Reef, quickly points out that “No Tag,” as the shark is referred to, was conceived as well as born and raised here. While it’s not unusual for one of these livebearers to be pregnant when acquired from the wild, successful breeding in an aquarium or zoo is still a rarity.
August 01, 2011
Wild Reef is home to more than 20 sharks. They range from the blacktip reef sharks and sandbar sharks that constantly cruise in the mid- to upper-level waters of the exhibit’s central 400,000-gallon habitat to the slow-swimming zebra sharks and sedentary bottom-dwelling bamboo sharks and wobbegongs.