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Pleasantly surprised by Shedd Aquarium in Chicago

Mask wearing was mandatory (apparently even for the statue at the entrance); admission was $40 (but I used my City Pass) so I was surprised at the number of families since this would be an expensive outing

Mask wearing was mandatory (apparently even for the statue at the entrance); admission was $40 (but I used my City Pass) so I was surprised at the number of families since this would be an expensive outing

There's a large Caribbean reef tank in the central atrium of the aquarium and the beluga whales and white-sided dolphins have huge tanks but most of the fish here are in smaller tanks; no whale sharks like in Atlanta

There's a large Caribbean reef tank in the central atrium of the aquarium and the beluga whales and white-sided dolphins have huge tanks but most of the fish here are in smaller tanks; no whale sharks like in Atlanta

I thought the longhorn cowfish might be from Texas but it's a reef fish from the Indian and Pacific Oceans; it's not the right color to be from Texas anyway

I thought the longhorn cowfish might be from Texas but it's a reef fish from the Indian and Pacific Oceans; it's not the right color to be from Texas anyway

Paddlefish have been referred to as primitive fish because they have evolved with few morphological changes since the earliest fossil records of the Early Cretaceous period, 120 to 125 million years ago

Paddlefish have been referred to as primitive fish because they have evolved with few morphological changes since the earliest fossil records of the Early Cretaceous period, 120 to 125 million years ago

When the Shedd Aquarium opened in 1930 it was the first inland aquarium anywhere with permanent displays of both freshwater and saltwater fishes; it was also the largest of the 40 or so public aquariums in the world

When the Shedd Aquarium opened in 1930 it was the first inland aquarium anywhere with permanent displays of both freshwater and saltwater fishes; it was also the largest of the 40 or so public aquariums in the world

The appearance of the mata mata turtle's shell resembles a piece of bark, and its head resembles fallen leaves enabling it to blend into the surrounding vegetation until a fish comes close; the mata mata is native to the Amazon and Orinoco River basins

The appearance of the mata mata turtle's shell resembles a piece of bark, and its head resembles fallen leaves enabling it to blend into the surrounding vegetation until a fish comes close; the mata mata is native to the Amazon and Orinoco River basins

The red-bellied piranha has a popular reputation as a ferocious predator, despite being primarily a scavenger; they live in the warm freshwater drainages of several major rivers including the Amazon, Paraguay, ParanĂ¡ and Essequibo

The red-bellied piranha has a popular reputation as a ferocious predator, despite being primarily a scavenger; they live in the warm freshwater drainages of several major rivers including the Amazon, Paraguay, ParanĂ¡ and Essequibo

The Wild Reef exhibit 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, sawfish, zebra, and blacktip reef sharks

The Wild Reef exhibit 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, sawfish, zebra, and blacktip reef sharks

The Magellanic penguin is a South American penguin, breeding in coastal Patagonia, including Argentina, Chile and the Falkland Islands, with some migrating to Brazil; they are endangered and were exhibited with rockhopper penguins

The Magellanic penguin is a South American penguin, breeding in coastal Patagonia, including Argentina, Chile and the Falkland Islands, with some migrating to Brazil; they are endangered and were exhibited with rockhopper penguins

The redline pufferfish is a species of pufferfish native to the Cross River in Nigeria growing to a length of 14 in; it was unique species like this that made the aquarium so fascinating

The redline pufferfish is a species of pufferfish native to the Cross River in Nigeria growing to a length of 14 in; it was unique species like this that made the aquarium so fascinating

The Fly River turtle is a species of turtle native to northern Australia and southern New Guinea and is sometimes called the pig-nosed turtle; unlike any other freshwater turtle, this endangered species has flippers

The Fly River turtle is a species of turtle native to northern Australia and southern New Guinea and is sometimes called the pig-nosed turtle; unlike any other freshwater turtle, this endangered species has flippers

This scary creature is a Bering wolffish which are found in the Northern Pacific; they can grow to 3 1/2 ft long and weigh 33 lbs although they are quite rare so not much is known about them

This scary creature is a Bering wolffish which are found in the Northern Pacific; they can grow to 3 1/2 ft long and weigh 33 lbs although they are quite rare so not much is known about them

Seahorse; included with admission was a 4D movie and I chose to watch one about sharks that was pretty interesting but perpetuated myths that sharks are scary and dangerous

Seahorse; included with admission was a 4D movie and I chose to watch one about sharks that was pretty interesting but perpetuated myths that sharks are scary and dangerous

Burbot live in large, cold rivers, lakes, and reservoirs including the Great Lakes; for part of the year, the burbot lives under ice, and it requires frigid temperatures to breed

Burbot live in large, cold rivers, lakes, and reservoirs including the Great Lakes; for part of the year, the burbot lives under ice, and it requires frigid temperatures to breed

Japanese sea nettle; the glass glare meant most of my photos didn't turn out well; the aquarium had an Australian lungfish which replaced the last one that died in 2017 which was at least 86 years old (and the oldest fish at any aquarium in the world)

Japanese sea nettle; the glass glare meant most of my photos didn't turn out well; the aquarium had an Australian lungfish which replaced the last one that died in 2017 which was at least 86 years old (and the oldest fish at any aquarium in the world)

A wolf eel differs from true eels, as they have paired gill slits and pectoral fins; native to the Northern Pacific, they possess powerful jaws with which they smash their prey

A wolf eel differs from true eels, as they have paired gill slits and pectoral fins; native to the Northern Pacific, they possess powerful jaws with which they smash their prey

The mandarinfish is one of the most colorful reef fish and very small; I was lucky to observe them in Palau for they are not easily seen due to their bottom-feeding habit and their small size

The mandarinfish is one of the most colorful reef fish and very small; I was lucky to observe them in Palau for they are not easily seen due to their bottom-feeding habit and their small size

The aquarium also had cute sea otters which were entirely too fast to photograph as well as Pacific white-sided dolphins; most of the species were identified but many, like this shrimp, were not

The aquarium also had cute sea otters which were entirely too fast to photograph as well as Pacific white-sided dolphins; most of the species were identified but many, like this shrimp, were not

I stayed at the only hotel in downtown Chicago that has free parking; that meant I could leave my car parked for the duration of my visit and just walk to every sight I wanted to see

I stayed at the only hotel in downtown Chicago that has free parking; that meant I could leave my car parked for the duration of my visit and just walk to every sight I wanted to see

The beluga whale's body size is between that of a dolphin and a true whale, with males growing up to 18 ft long and weighing up to 3,530 lb; the beluga is native to the Arctic with a life span of 70-80 years

The beluga whale's body size is between that of a dolphin and a true whale, with males growing up to 18 ft long and weighing up to 3,530 lb; the beluga is native to the Arctic with a life span of 70-80 years

The weedy seadragon is native to Australia and can reach 45 cm in length; like seahorses, seadragon males are the sex that cares for the developing eggs which it carries for about a month before the hatchlings emerge

The weedy seadragon is native to Australia and can reach 45 cm in length; like seahorses, seadragon males are the sex that cares for the developing eggs which it carries for about a month before the hatchlings emerge

The wattlied jacana can be found in South America east of the Andes and in southern Central America; I was surprised to see birds here but apparently most are unable to survive in the wild for varying reasons

The wattlied jacana can be found in South America east of the Andes and in southern Central America; I was surprised to see birds here but apparently most are unable to survive in the wild for varying reasons

Suckerfish (obviously); from the outside the aquarium doesn't look that large but it was actually much bigger than I expected with several additions to the original structure and great views of Lake Michigan

Suckerfish (obviously); from the outside the aquarium doesn't look that large but it was actually much bigger than I expected with several additions to the original structure and great views of Lake Michigan

This fish does not look happy to be stuck in an aquarium; they do serve an educational purpose and I was encouraged to see all of the kids learning about the species and conservation

This fish does not look happy to be stuck in an aquarium; they do serve an educational purpose and I was encouraged to see all of the kids learning about the species and conservation

Posted by VagabondCowboy 05:21

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