Spooky Seas at Shedd Aquarium

October 28, 2010 (CHICAGO)

Brave guests, dressed in their Halloween best, will enjoy a Friday-night sleepover at the Shedd. They'll come face-to-face with the creepy-crawly undersea residents, dance in the dark as a DJ plays and participate in Halloween-themed activities.

There is also an evening-only option available for those who want to sleep in their own beds. If you're brave enough to prowl the undersea world after dark, the Spooky Seas celebration starts at 6 p.m. on Friday. You can bail out at 10 p.m. or stay through Saturday morning at 9 a.m. Children must be at least 5 years old to sleep over and must be accompanied by an adult.

Here are some of the creepy creatures you might encounter:

Caiman lizard

  • Native to: The caiman lizard is native to South America and the Amazon basin of Peru and Brazil.
  • Adult Size: The adult size of the fence lizard is anywhere from 2 to 4 feet and weighs 3 to 6 lbs.
  • Appearance: The caiman lizard has a red-orange head. The body on the other hand is green. They have a laterally flattened tail. The head of the caiman lizard is large with moveable eyelids. The scales are large and heavy.
  • Diet: Caiman lizards in the wild will eat insects, snails, clams and crawfish. Caiman lizards in captivity will eat insects, snails, canned at food, smelt, crawfish and fiddler crabs.
  • Habitat: They live in wet forested areas of south America, rainforests and vegetated swamps.
  • Caiman temperament: They are not aggressive by nature but be careful if they feel threatened they will not hesitate to bite with their powerful jaws.
  • Cane toad

  • Eggs contain poisonous substance. Hide during the day, introduced to some tropical countries to combat insects feeding on cultivated plants.
  • Species specific call from vocal sac for attracting mates.
  • The cane toad has large poison glands and adults and tadpoles are highly toxic to most animals if ingested.
  • Because of its voracious appetite, the cane toad has been introduced to many regions of the Pacific and the Caribbean islands as a method of agricultural pest control, notably in the case of Australia in 1935 and derives its common name from its use against sugar cane pests. The cane toad itself is now considered a pest in many of its introduced regions, as its toxic skin kills many native predators when ingested.
  • Range: Central America to Northern S. America. Also introduced to Madagascar.
  • Habitats: Dry flooded forest, floodplain lake, floating meadow.
  • Size: 8 inches, males usually smaller.
  • Food in the wild: Crickets, mice and dog food.
  • Shedd diet: Enriched crickets and super worms.
  • Fox snake

  • Range: Great Lakes region.
  • Diet: Mice, rats and small rabbits.
  • They occasionally mimic rattlesnakes by vibrating their tail though they are not venomous.
  • Brazilian black tarantula

  • Range: South America, Brazil and Uruguay.
  • Diet: rodents and insects.
  • Size: 5 to 6 inches.
  • Tickets for the evening-only portion of Spooky Seas are $25 per person; $20 for Shedd members. To spend the night, tickets are $60 per person; $55 for Shedd members.

    Registration is required. To register, please call (312) 692-3206. For more information visit www.sheddaquarium.org.

    The John G. Shedd Aquarium is located at 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago.

    Starts at 6pm on Friday
    1200 S. Lake Shore Dr.
    Register at (312) 692-3206

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