''Jellies'' exhibit to arrive at Shedd

April 13, 2011 5:17:09 AM PDT
A new exhibit at Shedd Aquarium will give Chicago-area residents and visitors a rare look inside the world of sea jellies starting this spring.

''Jellies'' will open at Shedd April 15 and will continue through May 28, 2012.

For more information, visit www.sheddaquarium.org


Shedd Aquarium Explores the Mysteries of "Jellies" in a Limited-Time Special Exhibit Opening April 15

Beginning April 15, Shedd Aquarium guests will be mesmerized by a new special exhibit showcasing pulsing, translucent sea jellies and their mystifying natural history. Jellies sponsored by Walgreens, will immerse guests in an underwater world of rarely seen animals that survive-and thrive-without bones, blood, or brains. From beautiful and translucent moon jellies, to unique and fascinating upside-down jellies, to a variety of intriguing and eerie sea nettles, guests will encounter more than 10 species of jellies throughout the new temporary special exhibit.

"Sea jellies are one of the most misunderstood animals in the ocean. We're excited to bring this rare glimpse at these amazing creatures through this intimate and up-close experience," said Mark Schick, collection manager at Shedd Aquarium. "The highlight of Jellies is the wide variety of jelly species that guests will be able to see; however, the engaging exhibit will also offer educational interactives and programming that allow guests to experience a deep dive into the dark and mysterious world of jellies."

According to Schick, like sharks, many people fear jellies and the tourist tales of their renowned stings. However, Shedd's exhibit teaches visitors about what makes jellies so extraordinary and unique. "We hope to cultivate a sense of understanding and appreciation for these graceful animals."

In Jellies, guests "dive" into the deep and complicated world of sea jellies, learning how their simple bodies have allowed them to survive for millions of years. Among the educational experiences, guests will see how a jelly can devour enough food to double its weight each day, and learn how sea nettles hunt by trailing their long tentacles and frilly feeding arms covered with stinging cells that paralyze prey upon contact. The exhibit also includes a lifecycle exhibit, combining video and actual jellies in various stages of their lifecycle. Guests will even learn about the anatomy of jellies through illuminated features focusing on the most vital organs of their simple bodies. "This visual exhibit will be a feast for the eyes and the mind with larger-than-life images and models, spectacular video, and a variety of jellies on display," said Bryan Schuetze, Vice President of Planning and Design at Shedd.

For 500 million years, the seemingly simple systems of sea jellies have helped the often still mysterious creatures thrive in the world's oceans. There are thousands of species of jellies in the world, with more being discovered every day! Throughout Jellies, guests will learn how jellies' bodies are 95 percent water and their feeding arms can grow up to 8 feet long; how drifting with the current, jellies travel thousands of miles; and how the tiniest jelly could nestle into a contact lens, while the largest couldn't squeeze into a minivan. Enter this mesmerizing world of jellies, where your hosts are these spectacular creatures-some beautiful, some mysterious, but every one of them fascinating.