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  1. 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
  2. Red-breasted Merganser

    Join the Red-Breasted Merganser in its sandy trek along the shores of the northern United States and Canada. Discover how this bird used the "tooth" on its bill to capture its prey. This bird is subject to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and remains under the stewardship of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It can be borrowed for wildlife conservation, ecology, biology, scientific, or educational purposes. There may be limits on other, non-educational uses. Please contact us if you have any questions. Learn More
  3. 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
  4. American Robin (With Eggs)

    Learn more about the Robin, the most plentiful bird found in North America. Like other members of the Thrush family, these birds can sing with the best of them. These birds are subject to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and remain under the stewardship of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. They can be borrowed for wildlife conservation, ecology, biology, scientific, or educational purposes. There may be limits on other, non-educational uses. Please contact us if you have any questions. Learn More
  5. Lewis and Clark

    Lewis and Clark were explorers, scientists and ambassadors in a land that was foreign to European settlers. They encountered new animals, plants and peoples. Use this box to identify the reasons President Jefferson set up the Expedition. Examine trade beads, pelts, natural fibers, and other goods traded during the voyage of Lewis and Clark and roleplay the bartering system used by the explorers. Learn More
  6. Ice Age Mammals

    This box contains models of mammals (and their teeth!) that could be found in the Chicago region 12,000 years ago. Look at the animals' physical characteristics and infer their evolutionary advantages. Discuss some of the physical changes that happened as Amebelodons evolved into mammoths and modern elephants. Debate what caused these changes and identify relationships among these animals based on their teeth. Learn More
  7. Bluets

    Find these tiny flowers growing in dense mats across the Chicago region. Bluets are small perennials, and are a member of the Madder Family, which grows pervasively throughout Chicago. These flowers are also known as Innocence, Quaker Ladies, and Quaker Bonnets. Learn More
  8. Common Box Turtle

    Follow this land-dwelling turtle through the thin forests and grassy fields of the eastern United States. The Common Box Turtle feeds on the berries, slugs and insect larvae of its woodland home. Learn More
  9. Northwest Coast Mask (Hawk)

    Begin exploring peoples of the Northwest Coast, their culture and traditions, with a carved cedar mask. Learn More
  10. Chicago-Area Salamanders

    Did you know you can find salamanders right here in Chicago? Here are seven local specimens of these amphibians, and learn about their habitat, diet, and distinguishable characteristics. Learn More

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