background brush stroke

History of the Aquarium

Picture of the Shedd Aquarium
  • The Shedd Aquarium was the gift of retail leader John G. Shedd, a protege of Marshall Field (benefactor of the adjacent Field Museum), to the city of Chicago.

  • In 1930, 20 railroad tank cars made eight round trips between Key West and Chicago to transport 1,000,000 US gallons (3,800,000 l) of seawater for the Shedds saltwater exhibits.

  • In 1933, Chicago hosted its second world's fair, the Century of Progress. The Aquarium was located immediately north of the fairgrounds, and the museum gained exposure to a large international crowd.

child pointing at scuba diver

The Shedd Aquarium



The Shedd aquarium in Chicago, IL is host to many different underwater creatures. In this site you we will explore what the Shedd Aquarium has in store for us while taking a closer look at the aquatic life within.

The John G. Shedd Aquarium is an indoor public aquarium in Chicago, Illinois in the United States that opened on May 30, 1930. The aquarium contains over 25,000 fish, and was for some time the largest indoor aquarium in the world with 5,000,000 US gallons (19,000,000 l) of water. The Shedd Aquarium was the first inland aquarium with a permanent saltwater fish collection. It is surrounded by Museum Campus Chicago, which it shares with the Adler Planetarium and the Field Museum of Natural History. The aquarium has 2 million annual 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.[4] It contains 1500 species including fish, marine mammals, birds, snakes, amphibians, and insects.[5] 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.

There are five permanent exhibits at the Shedd: Amazon Rising, Caribbean Reef, Waters of the World, the Oceanarium, and Wild Reef. The temporary exhibits include the Lizards and the Komodo King, which features a Komodo dragon named Faust, through the summer of 2008. The Amazon Rising exhibit is a 8,600-square-foot (800 m2) walkthrough flooded forest recreation of the Amazon river and the surrounding jungle.

This exhibit contains 250 different species, and its highest water level is 6 feet. 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.

The tank is near the center of the first floor, and is within walking distance of Amazon rising, Waters of the World and Wild Reef. The Oceanarium is split into two levels, above and below the waterline. Above the waterline, there are two sets of bleachers where can watch the dolphins perform. While below the waterline, guests can see the Beluga Whales and Dolphins up close.


dolphin

Fantasea



Fantasea is the newest attraction at the Shedd. It was originally supposed to premiere on July 2, 2009, but the release was before the Shedd knew they were in a breeding exchange with Ohana for Kri and Tique Pacific white-sided dolphins, so the show was postponed until 16 October. Fantasea's storyline goes as the show starts with a sea lion training session, then coming to the audience to pull a rope with a sign above it that says "PULL". The 450-foot curtain, the largest in the US, drops and three "ocean sirens" appear, and a spotlight goes from each siren, each to land upon the same little girl, a hired actor. She goes down to the front of the stage, where she meets the "Beluga Guide" and gets in a "Magical Flying Rowboat" and floats to the famous "island" in the corner of the amphitheater. She experiences the glacial habitat of the three beluga whales. She moves on to find the penguin guide, holding an actual (rockhopper and/or Magellanic) penguin. The penguins then waddle through the audience, crawling behind people as the theater jumps with laughter. Next, she says goodbye to the Penguin Guide and meets the next guide of her journey, the Hawk Guide, and in her hand she holds an actual red-tailed hawk (named Hilton, in real life). She and the audience watch in amazement as the hawk flies a whole span of the theater (a whopping 500 feet) in just 20 seconds!

little girl pointing at diver in tank Next, she says goodbye to the Hawk Guide and meets her last guide of the journey, the Dolphin Guide. The Dolphin Guide shows her how grateful and majestic these animals can be. The dolphins jump in unison together and the girl is reunited with her mother. The mother and girl hug, a loud boom of dramatic, beautiful music plays and the dolphins jump again. The dolphins can be distinguished by how high they jump: Katrl will jump the highest, Piquet sort of in the middle, and Ohana will be the lowest jumper, considering that she is only three and the others are twenty-two and twenty-three.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Quisque id purus velit, id fringilla elit. Proin varius congue feugiat. Nulla ultrices condimentum est non fringilla. In facilisis orci at augue gravida sit amet adipiscing elit faucibus. Mauris pulvinar risus pellentesque urna luctus porttitor. Praesent fermentum mattis risus. Fusce velit lorem, tincidunt ut vehicula nec, consectetur molestie dui. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Proin ac leo sapien, id ultricies orci. Vestibulum elementum tellus vitae enim egestas interdum. Quisque aliquam nulla auctor mi commodo in facilisis ante aliquet.
Cras eget nibh nisl, nec ultrices dolor. Phasellus non neque at justo vulputate luctus vitae ac orci. Maecenas a libero at quam hendrerit sollicitudin. Fusce nisi ante, rutrum vitae eleifend vel, tristique sed lorem. Sed ut orci metus. Nulla facilisi. Integer varius laoreet lacinia. Ut sed porttitor diam. Donec a odio nibh. Curabitur at posuere nunc. Mauris pulvinar risus pellentesque urna luctus porttitor. Praesent fermentum mattis risus. Fusce velit lorem, tincidunt ut vehicula nec, consectetur molestie dui. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Proin ac leo sapien, id ultricies orci. Vestibulum elementum tellus vitae enim egestas interdum. Quisque aliquam nulla auctor mi commodo in facilisis ante aliquet. In hac habitasse platea dictumst. In convallis, velit eu condimentum rutrum, dolor arcu volutpat elit, nec sodales odio sapien ut tellus. Vivamus iaculis ultrices fermentum. Integer magna turpis, adipiscing sit amet egestas vel, feugiat in sem. Proin fringilla eleifend lectus vitae malesuada.