210 posts categorized "Education"
April 18, 2013
September 27, 2012
It was hot. Of course, the entire summer had been hot, and there had been little rain. Rivers and ponds were drying up, water levels dropping. This was the case with the Kankakee River as we stepped up to the bank. The river was at least a couple feet lower than normal for this time of year—but we expected that, and it was one reason why we, a team of Shedd Aquarium fish biologists, were at a point on the river an hour south of Chicago, near the Illinois-Indiana state line. We were conducting a survey to see if the warm summer had impacted the fish community.
September 06, 2012
Choices on family meals can contribute to healthier, more environmentally-sustainable food systems – sushi is no exception! Overfishing, destructive fishing gear and destructive fish farming methods put our aquatic ecosystems at risk. By purchasing sushi made from fish that are caught or farmed using environmentally-friendly practices, you can support the health of our lakes and oceans while ensuring your kids will have a robust seafood supply in their future. As a parent, how can you translate these big ideas to your young eater? Step away from the fish sticks and pick up a bamboo mat: it’s time to get cooking!
August 13, 2012
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.
August 01, 2012
In part 1 of our Jazzin’ at the Shedd violin summit last week, you met the fiddler ray. In part 2, we introduce the complementary follow up: the bowfin.
You can find bowfins in the fossil record from 100 million years ago. You can also find them in Illinois rivers today, including the Des Plaines, Fox, Rock and Vermillion; in Lake Michigan around Green Bay; and in the Local Waters gallery at Shedd.
July 26, 2012
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 17, 2012
You’d be hard pressed to find a bigger percussion section than the drums, or the Sciaenidae family, which includes 275 species of freshwater and marine fishes found in temperate and tropical waters throughout the world.
And we mean percussion literally. The males have special tendons that vibrate against the swim bladder, producing a sound underwater similar to a drum beating in the distance. It is most likely a rhythmic love call to the female of the species. (If you remove a drum from the water, the distressed fish will bellow like a bullfrog, earning it another common name, croaker.)
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 28, 2012