after one John G. Shedd, the Shedd Aquarium
is located on Chicago's Museum Campus.
Built in 1929, it was given as a gift
to the city of Chicago, so that citizens
and visitors alike would have a place
to view marine life. One of the first
inland aquariums in the world, the Shedd
Aquarium was one of the jewels of the
1933 Worlds Fair. Designed in the “Classical
Greek” style and sporting many pieces
of “aquatic architecture”,
the aquarium fits in with its prestigious
neighbours (like the Field Museum of Natural
History) that share its campus.
The Shedd Aquarium was designed to “study,
protect and exhibit all aquatic life and
help visitors to learn about the natural
world”. Because it was built inland
all of its seawater had to be shipped
in on a specially built rail car. Over
the years the aquarium has changed, most
recently opening its "Oceanarium"
in 1991. The Oceanarium features many
marine mammals, including dolphins and
belugas, as well as Sea Otters saved from
the spill of the Exxon Valdez.
without the new exhibits there are still
over 200 tanks holding over one million
gallons of water (both salty and fresh).
These tanks are spread out over six galleries
and one exhibit hall radiating from the
buildings central rotunda. Currently there
are more than 6000 fish, reptiles, amphibians,
mammals and invertebrates of approximately
750 different species on display at the
The Shedd Aquarium also maintains a research
vessel for taking samples. The current
vessel is the “R/V Coral Reef II”.
This advanced boat takes staff members
to sites around Florida and the Bahamas
to collect species for many of the exhibits.