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  1. Yellow Bass

    Catch a glimpse of this quickly disappearing resident of the lakes of the Mississippi River valley. Today the Yellow Bass, like other common food fish, is a rare sight. Learn More
  2. Fishing in the Americas

    Over generations, various peoples of the Americas lived alongside seas, lakes and rivers. As a result, they developed a deep relationship with and understanding of native fishes and their ecosystems. Learn about how fishing technologies were both similar and different depending on the environment in which they were developed by exploring models and artifacts used for fishing in the Americas. Learn More
  3. A Good Egg

    Animal embryos develop in eggs, which provide development, nourishment and protection. The egg structures of different species differ in unique ways that ensure the survival of their embryos. Examine the eggs of snakes, birds, frogs, and other animals up close to learn about their differences and how the habitats in which they are laid relate to their form and care. Spanish language activity book and object cards are available upon request. Attention: Some of the items in this box are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and may only be borrowed by educational institutions that are open to the general public and are non-profit (such as a public or charter school), but may not be borrowed by private individuals or institutions without a special permit. If you have any questions about whether you or your institution qualify to borrow this box without a permit, please contact us. Learn More
  4. Carp

    Dive into ponds and streams east of the Rocky Mountains to find this fish, the largest American minnow. The Carp is distinguished by its saw-toothed spine and barbels, or "whiskers." Learn More
  5. Pike

    Inspect the mouthful of vicious teeth this fish has to have in order to capture the small fishes and birds it feeds on. The Pike is swift and voracious, and darts on its prey with such speed that escape is difficult. Learn More
  6. Sunfishes

    Not available for selected dates
    Consider the vibrant variance in color of six specimens of the Sunfish, a common find in the lakes, ponds and streams of the Chicago area. These fish are identifiable because of their shortened body and fin placement. Learn More
  7. Shell Buttons

    Learn why the rivers of the Midwest produce the best buttons in the world, made from Mussel shells. Check out the step-by-step process of producing a shell button, something businesses along the Mississippi have been doing since 1891. Learn More
  8. Fossil Lake

    Some of the best examples of life during the Tertiary Period come from one extraordinary site in southwestern Wyoming called Fossil Lake. Although Fossil Lake has a cold, snowy climate today, its fossils offer us an unusual snapshot of a community of organisms that lived in a tropical lake 50 million years ago. Touch fossil fishes, insects, and the earliest known bat fossil cast. Learn More
  9. Skulls and Limbs

    This box includes skulls and skull casts from the American Alligator, Dog, Cat, American Beaver, Mouse, Human, and Road Runner, along with skeletal comparison sets of hind and front limbs. Explore the variation in skulls and limbs that show how animals and humans are highly adapted to different food sources and environments. Use this box with the Systems Biology Lesson "The Effect of Natural Selection on Genes, Traits and Individuals". Learn More
  10. Perch

    Take a dip in Lake Michigan and you might catch a glimpse of this common food fish. The body shape and coloration of the Perch and Yellow Pike Perch make it ideally suited for shallow plant-filled waters. Learn More

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