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Jellies At Shedd Aquarium

November 21, 2011 6:00 AM

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jellies shedd Jellies At Shedd Aquarium

(credit: John G. Shedd Aquarium)

Jellies
Through May 28, 2012
John G. Shedd Aquarium
1200 South Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL
(312) 939-2438
Hours: Mon – Fri 9 am – 5 pm; Sat – Sun 9 am – 6 pm
www.sheddaquarium.org

Jellyfish have been on earth for more than 500 million years, but how much do we really know about them? Jellies, an exhibit at the Shedd Aquarium, gives us an overview of the animal by exploring its biology and history. There are also tanks showcasing more than 10 different jellyfish species. The show runs through May 28, 2012.

Jellyfish rely on their nervous system for all bodily functions, since they have no bones, blood, or brains. The creatures are 95 percent water and there are thousands of different jellyfish in the world’s oceans. Jellies shows how the animals eat, reproduce, and hunt for food, and includes lots of fun facts, like how the smallest jellyfish could fit into a contact lens.

jellies2 Jellies At Shedd Aquarium

(credit: John G. Shedd Aquarium)

But the real highlights are the live jellyfish on display. When you see jellyfish in the wild, how often do you run the other way? Fear of being stung prohibits us from looking at these animals up close, but the tanks at the Shedd allow you to get right up next to the jellyfish. And the results are mesmerizing – each tank features multiple jellies slowly floating through the water. Even though they look like something from another planet, the jellyfish are beautiful.

The animals on display will rotate throughout the exhibit’s run, but currently include Blue Blubber Jellies, which are translucent and come in various shades of blue. They resemble a floating basket of mushrooms. The Egg Yolk Jellies have a central yellowish body and white tentacles. The Flower Hat Jelly is a pretty species, with magenta and lime green tentacles. The jellies come from across the globe, from the North Atlantic Ocean to the tropical waters off South America to Asia. Jellies is a rare chance to see these creatures, and definitely worth a visit.

For more information, visit www.sheddaquarium.org.

Amy Cavanaugh, CBS Chicago
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