ermaids are about the only aquatic life you won't find at the John G. Shedd Aquarium. Since its opening in 1930, Shedd Aquarium has ranked among the world's leading public aquariums. It is consistently one of the most popular cultural attractions in Chicago and annually ranks among the top three attended public aquariums in the United States. Drawing more than 2 million visitors a year, Shedd connects guests to the living world and inspires them to make a difference through its animal collection and public programs. The first inland aquarium to feature permanent saltwater and freshwater displays, today Shedd is home to more than 24,000 animals, representing 1,500 species of invertebrates, fishes,
amphibians, reptiles, birds and both freshwater and marine mammals from around the world. Perhaps its most famous resident is an Australian lung-fish, acquired for the 1933 World's Fair, that is the oldest fish in any collection in the world. Among the aquarium's newest additions is a beluga calf named Bella, born in July 2006. Highlight exhibits range from a freestanding 90,000-gallon Caribbean reef habitat to a 187,000-square foot, three-level re-creation of a Pacific Northwest coastline with whales, dolphins and Alaska sea otters; from focus displays of delicate corals, moon jellies and seahorses to a 400,000-gallon shark habitat; and from a walk-through Amazon floodplain forest to the Chicago area's local waterways and their native and invasive species. Situated on the shore of Lake Michigan in a National Historic Landmark building of white marble and elaborate, aquatic-themed terra cotta, Shedd has made the protection of the Great Lakes its highest conservation priority. Shedd Aquarium is supported by the people of Chicago and the State of Illinois, and it is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums.
For more information, visit www.sheddaquarium.org.
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