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  1. Snapping Turtle

    Wonder why this turtle snaps? As the largest of the shell-bearing reptiles, the Snapping Turtle cannot draw its head into its shell when threatened, necessitating the use of its powerful jaws. Learn More
  2. Blue-winged Teal (With Chicks)

    Scan the surface of Lake Michigan, and you may find one of these small ducks feeding with others of its flock. The Blue-winged Teal is a common summer resident of Illinois and is identifiable by the blue streak found on the front edge of her wings. 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
  3. 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
  4. Great Lakes Plant Diversity

    We can learn a lot about a particular environment based on the plants that exist there! The Great Lakes region is home to hundreds of different plants. Explore a large collection of plant specimens from diverse ecosystems found across the Midwest, examine herbarium sheets, and try your hand at pressing your own specimens. Learn More
  5. 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
  6. Flying Squirrel

    Glide into the fascinating world of the Midwestern flying squirrel. Numerous poses display what is rarely seen of this nocturnal animal. Learn More
  7. Common Goldeneye (1)

    Take in the breathtaking scenery of this duck's chilly winter habitat. A common winter resident of Lake Michigan, the Common Goldeneye catches most of its food below water's surface. 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
  8. Black-bellied Plover (2)

    Take a stroll through the sandy habitats of these shore birds, often found in spring and autumn along the beaches of Lake Michigan. The Black-Bellied Plover's diet consists of insects washed up by the waves. 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
  9. 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
  10. Woodland Native American Shelter

    Homes are designed to provide shelter for their inhabitants living in a particular environment and climate. Some homes are built for temporary or seasonal purposes. Others are built as permanent structures. The Woodland Native Americans built summer and winter homes. Discover the materials used to build woodland shelters and the environment and climate in which they were built. Design and build your own wigwam to understand how Woodland Native Americans used to build their shelters! Learn More

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