|Date opened||May 30, 1930|
|Location||1200 South Lake Shore Drive|
Chicago, Illinois, United States
|No. of animals||32,000|
|No. of species||1,500|
|Total volume of tanks||5 million US gallons (19,000 m3)|
|Annual visitors||2.02 Million|
|Memberships||AZA, AMMPA, WAZA|
|Major exhibits||Amazon Rising, Caribbean Reef, Abbott Oceanarium, Polar Play Zone, Waters of the World, Wild Reef|
|Coordinates||41°52′4″N 87°36′50″W / 41.86778°N 87.61389°WCoordinates: 41°52′4″N 87°36′50″W / 41.86778°N 87.61389°W|
|Architect||Graham, Anderson, Probst & White|
|NRHP reference No.||87000820 |
|Added to NRHP||February 27, 1987|
|Designated NHL||February 27, 1987|
Shedd Aquarium (formally the John G. Shedd Aquarium) is an indoor public aquarium in Chicago, Illinois, in the United States. Opened on May 30, 1930, the 5 million US gal (19,000,000 l; 4,200,000 imp gal) aquarium was for some time the largest indoor facility in the world. Today it holds about 32,000 animals.
Shedd Aquarium was the first inland aquarium with a permanent
In 2015, the aquarium had 2.02 million visitors. It was the most visited aquarium in the U.S. in 2005, and in 2007, it surpassed the Field Museum as the most popular cultural attraction in Chicago. The aquarium contains 1,500 species, including fish, marine mammals, birds, snakes, amphibians, and insects. The aquarium received awards for "best exhibit" from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) for Seahorse Symphony in 1999, Amazon Rising in 2001, and Wild Reef in 2004. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987.
Shedd Aquarium was the gift of retail leader
The aquarium cost $3 million to build, and initially included 132 exhibit tanks. Groundbreaking took place on November 2, 1927, and construction was completed on December 19, 1929; the first exhibits opened on May 30, 1930. As one of the first inland aquariums in the world, the Shedd had to rely on a custom-made railroad car, the Nautilus, for the transport of fish and seawater. The Nautilus lasted until 1959.
In 1930, 20
In 1971, Shedd Aquarium added one of its most popular exhibits, a 90,000-US-gallon (340,000 L) exhibit reproducing a Caribbean coral reef. That same year, the aquarium acquired its first research vessel, a 75-foot (23 m) boat for exploring the Caribbean, manned by a crew to conduct field research and collect specimens. In 1985, this boat was replaced with the aquarium's current vessel, the Coral Reef II. In 1987, Shedd Aquarium was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
John Shedd's grandson,
Exhibits and presentations
There are several permanent exhibits at Shedd: Waters of the World, Caribbean Reef, Amazon Rising, Wild Reef, and the Abbott Oceanarium.
Waters of the World
The oldest galleries in the aquarium feature exhibits on oceans, rivers, islands and lakes, and Chicago's own local waters. Species on exhibit include American bullfrog, a giant Pacific octopus, American alligator, lake sturgeon, starfish, lined seahorses, and alligator snapping turtle.
The Caribbean Reef exhibit was built in 1971, on the site of the aquarium's very first exhibit, the Tropical Pool. A feature of this exhibit is a diver that interacts with the animals while talking with the people. A part of the exhibit is a 90,000-US-gallon (340,000 L) circular tank that allows for maximum walk-around viewing. It was one of the first habitats to display schooling fish. It is also home to the rescued
The Amazon Rising exhibit is a 8,600-square-foot (800 m2) walkthrough flooded forest recreation of the
In 2003, Shedd opened Wild Reef, a permanent exhibit located two levels below the main building. The exhibit contains a total of 525,000 US gallons (1,990,000 L) and recreates a Philippine coral reef on the Apo Island marine reserve, complete with living coral, multiple species of fish and rays, and a collection of sharks such as sandbar, zebra, blacktip reef sharks, white-spotted guitarfish, Spotted wobbegongs, and Japanese wobbegongs. The main draw of this attraction is a 400,000-US-gallon (1,500,000 L) shark tank with 12-foot (3.7 m) high curved windows, allowing visitors a diver's-eye view. The Wild Reef exhibit also features a saltwater tank display area where coral is propagated and grown for conservation purposes.
Polar Play Zone
The exhibit is an interactive play area for children and contains an underwater viewing area of the beluga whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins and Sea otters. The exhibit also includes Southern rockhopper penguins and Magellanic penguins, as well as 5 circular tanks for moon jellyfish and starfishes that are by an interactive submarine model. There is also a starfish touch pool.
Opened on May 17, 2013, this exhibit allows guests to touch cownose rays as they swim around their 20,000 US gallons (76,000 L) outdoor exhibit. Located on the aquarium's South Terrace, this exhibit is open seasonally from May through October (weather permitting).
In 1991, Shedd Aquarium opened the Oceanarium (known since 2010 as the Abbott Oceanarium), a large addition to the aquarium that features
Land & Water
The Land & Water aquatic presentation (formerly One World), replaced Fantasea in 2013. The show is presented at a 1,000 seat amphitheater in the Oceanarium and features Pacific white-sided dolphins, beluga whales, penguins, and California sea lions. A holiday version is sometimes shown in November and December.
The 4D Theater opened in 2009 as part of the renovation of the Abbott Oceanarium. The 4D experience includes a 3D film with interactive seats, high-tech audio and interactive elements like scents and bubbles. Films shown have included Blue Planet, Splash and Bubbles, Sea Monsters, SpongeBob SquarePants 4-D, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (seasonal), and The Polar Express (seasonal).
Current special exhibits
This exhibit opened on May 25, 2018, and focuses on the visual beauty of sea life, with sections called "Color", "Patterns", and "Rhythms." The exhibit features 100 different species of fish and invertebrate, displayed to accent their visual qualities, including the
Previous special exhibits
The "jellies" exhibit opened in April 2011, focusing on jellyfish, and the misconceptions surrounding them. It featured at least 10 species of jellyfish, including
The amphibian exhibit opened on May 15, 2015, and ran through January 1, 2018. It featured 40 different species of amphibians, including the
Fantasea was a multiple-aquatic animal show at Shedd Aquarium, running from October 16, 2009, through 2010. The show featured
Animals on exhibit, past and present
Walter Chute, the aquarium's director from 1928 to 1964, wanted rare fish to attract the 10 million tourists expected to visit Chicago for the exposition in 1933. Granddad, an Australian lungfish, arrived at the Shedd in 1933, along with his mate, from Sydney during the Century of Progress world exposition. During the expo's run, they attracted about 4.5 million visitors.
At Granddad's death in 2017, he was claimed by the aquarium to be the oldest fish in any aquarium in the world. He was 109 years old; he weighed 25 pounds (11 kg) and was 4 feet (1.2 m) in length. His normal behavior was to lay like a sunken log on the bottom of his habitat.
Shedd Aquarium related living Belugas as of November 15, 2022: Naya (F), Beethoven (M), Kayavak (F), Bella (F), Aurek (M), Kimalu (F), Annik (M) and Atlas (M).
Mauyak, Qannik, Miki, Kimalu, Annik: In 2000, Mauyak gave birth to Qannik, who was sent to
Immiayuk, Kayavak: Kayavak is one of the most famous residents of the Oceanarium. The whale became an orphan at only five months old after her mother, Immiayuk, died. Trainers fed Kayavak fish, cared for her day and night, taught her how to "be a whale", and she thrived to be the healthy adult she is today.
Puiji, Bella, and Nunavik: In 2006, the beluga whale Puiji gave birth to a female calf, later named Bella. On December 14, 2009, she gave birth to a 162-pound, five-foot, four-inch male calf. Although it was a difficult birth, the calf survived and debuted to the public on Sunday, January 24, 2010. He has since been named "Nunavik" meaning "friendly, beautiful, and wild". Nunavik currently lives at the Georgia Aquarium as of 2016. Puiji died on Wednesday, October 26, 2011, following a seizure after having been undergoing treatment for an undisclosed medical condition over the course of several months.
Naluark: Naluark was transferred to Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration in Mystic, Connecticut, in October 2011. He has since been moved to SeaWorld Orlando in 2016.
Naya: Another female beluga, named Naya, gave birth on December 20 to a 162-pound, five-foot two-inch male calf, though the calf died two days later from complications during birth.
Alaskan sea otters
Yaku (son of Kenai) was euthanized on February 26, 2022, due to failing health brought on by a tumor in his chest.
Kenai (Exxon Valdez oil spill survivor) was euthanized on October 9, 2012, due to failing health brought on by advancing years.
Kachemak (oldest sea otter in a North American Aquarium/Zoo) was euthanized on August 24, 2013, due to failing health related to age.
Southern sea otters
Luna (F), Cooper (M), Watson (M). Ellie (F)
Pacific white-sided dolphins
The aquarium has five white sided dolphins: Kri (F), Katrl (F), Munchkin (F), Makoa (M) and Harmony (F).
Sagu and Makoa were conceived by Li'i at the Miami Seaquarium when Piquet was on a breeding loan there. Piquet gave birth to Sagu on Memorial Day weekend in 2012. Piquet gave birth to her second calf, Makoa on June 1, 2015. On April 18, 2016, Katrl gave birth to a male calf sired by Li'i. The calf was placed on display on June 18, 2016, and was named Kukdlaa meaning "Bubbles" in the Tlingit language. Piquet was moved to Miami SeaQuarium in early 2018 for a breeding loan and Ipo was transferred to Shedd to take her place.
Green sea turtle
Nickel is a female green sea turtle who resides at the Caribbean Reef exhibit located in directly in front of the main lobby. Nickel was rescued on Florida's Gulf Coast area in 1998, where she was struck by the propellers of a motorboat. This accident damaged her shell and paralyzed her from the waist down causing her to have buoyancy problems. Researchers thought that she could no longer live in the wild so she was brought to Shedd in the spring of 2003. Upon her arrival, she went through several medical examinations, including an x-ray. The x-ray revealed a 1975 nickel lodged in her throat which is where she received the name, Nickel. Nickel is one of the many rescued animals that reside in the Shedd. She serves as an example to many people of the effects human activities can have on wildlife.
North American river otter
Euthanized on October 29, 2013, due to age related health issues, Rio was 21 and lived well past the median life expectancy of a North American river otter.
Deadeye, a female Atlantic tarpon, was the oldest fish to reside at the Caribbean Reef in the aquarium. She was first introduced to the aquarium in 1935 and died in 1998.[self-published source]
In 2016, the Shedd Aquarium introduced for the first time
Shedd Aquarium is also notable for its
Conservation and research
The Daniel P. Haerther Center for Conservation and Research helps to provide on-site research at the aquarium. They study topics such as animal health and behavior, nutrition, animal training, reproduction and genetics.
The aquarium also partners with conservation efforts in the Caribbean and Southeast Asia. The Bahamian rock iguana is one of the most endangered lizards in the world. Since 1994, the Shedd Aquarium has been studying and providing conservation plans for this iguana. The Shedd Aquarium is now recognized as the lead authority on this iguana. In Southeast Asia, the Shedd partners with Project Seahorse to monitor and map out the seahorse populations in Southeast Asia.
Since 1991, the Shedd Aquarium has been involved with research focused on
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Entrance in 2008
Man with Fish statue next to the building
Main entrance at night
Cleaning a habitat in the Oceanarium
Nickel, a Green sea turtle resting at the aquarium
A Pacific white-sided dolphin leaping from the oceanarium during the main dolphin demonstration
Southern rockhoppers and gentoos at the penguin habitat
Two belugas swimming in the oceanarium
Nickel, a green sea turtle, swimming at the aquarium
- Splendid garden eelfrom the Wild Reef exhibit
Beauty of the Amazon exhibit
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- ^ "Our Commitment Continues". Shedd Aquarium. 2022-02-26. Retrieved 2022-10-23.
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- Media related to Shedd Aquariumat Wikimedia Commons
- Official website