144 posts categorized "Photographs"

July 20, 2013

Happy birthday, Mr. Shedd!

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John G. Shedd, the department store magnate who donated $3 million to build the world’s finest aquarium in his adopted city of Chicago, was born in a frame farmhouse in Alstead, New Hampshire, on July 20, 1850. The youngest of eight children, he turned his back on farm work when he was 16 and set his sights on a business career. He gained experience at several dry goods stores in Vermont and New Hampshire; then, in 1872, he headed for Chicago.

Starting as a salesman and stock boy at what would become Marshall Field & Company, he rose through the ranks and used his merchandising genius to build Field’s into the largest department store in the world. Upon Mr. Field’s death in 1906, Shedd became president of the company, which employed 12,000 Chicagoans and did $25 million in retail sales and $50 million in wholesale business every year.

Shedd was part of a cadre of civic-minded business leaders who shaped Chicago into a world-class city at the beginning of the 20th century. And because every world-class city had an aquarium, Shedd chose that as his legacy to the city that had given him so much. He was excited about the project as the plans developed, but he did not live to see his aquarium built. Shedd died on Oct. 22, 1926. His business colleagues, who were on the aquarium’s board of directors, carried out his vision, and construction began in November 1927.

Learn more about John G. Shedd in Shedd Aquarium, the fact- and photo-filled hardcover history of Chicago’s world-famous aquarium, available in Shedd’s gift stores and online.

Karen Furnweger, web editor

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July 17, 2013

Happy 7th Birthday to Bella!

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Beluga whale Bella celebrates her 7th birthday today! She’s still growing, but at 10 feet 4 inches and 900 pounds, she really looks like an adult now. You can tell her apart from the other belugas by the large white spot on her flank.

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April 27, 2013

Save the Frogs Day

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We’re working at it. Shedd is home to a variety of threatened and endangered mantella frogs, all native to small—and ever-shrinking—ranges in Madagascar.

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December 10, 2012

December Fish of the Month: Farmed Scallops



Your seafood choices can have a big impact on the health of our oceans and lakes—so make sure they’re positive ones! Every month, Shedd’s Right Bite team highlights a sustainable seafood item as our Fish of the Month. December’s pick is farmed scallops, and we have an elegant holiday starter dish, seared scallops with braised fennel, apple and leeks.

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October 12, 2012

International Cephalopod Awareness Days: Foyer Floor Fossils

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The last day of our cephalopod celebration coincides with National Fossil Day. And that’s awesomely appropriate because most cephalopod species—about 17,000—are extinct and have been memorialized in stone. Limestone, to be exact.

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October 10, 2012

In Loving Memory of Sea Otter Kenai

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Kenai, Shedd’s last surviving sea otter from the Exxon Valdez oil spill, was humanely euthanized Tuesday morning after a rapid decline in health. She was 23½ years old, an extraordinary age for her species.

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September 28, 2012

Sea Otter Awareness Week: Rescue and Rehab


Sea_otter_rescue0125_webNo one could have planned it in 1988: that Shedd would become a leader in rehabbing and raising sea otter infants, and in training these frisky, feisty cousins of weasels. No inland aquarium or zoo even had sea otters then.

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September 27, 2012

Hot Times in the Kankakee River

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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.

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August 13, 2012

Shedd's shark experts answer your questions

Shark_week_blogOn 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 14, 2012

July Fish of the Month: US-farmed Crawfish


Your seafood choices can have a big impact on the health of our oceans and lakes—so make sure they’re positive ones! Every month, Shedd’s Right Bite team highlights a sustainable seafood item as our Fish of the Month. July’s pick is US-farmed crawfish, and I have a dish that will bring Louisiana to your kitchen— crawfish po’ boys. Also, don’t miss out on a recipe for crawfish etouffee from Chef Paul Fehribach of Big Jones. His Andersonville restaurant is one of Shedd’s sustainable seafood restaurant partners in the Chicago area; click here to view the full list.

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