Turtles basking at a Lincoln Park pond. (Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

May 23 is World Turtle Day. Sure, it’s a fake holiday, but it’s a good reason to take a closer look at the many species that make their home in northern Illinois.

Say hello to Seldovia, Shedd Aquarium’s rescued otter pup. (Heidi Zeiger / Shedd Aquarium)

The rescued otter pup, now nearly 6 months old, was named in honor of his Alaskan roots.

Shedd’s newest rescued sea otter pup explores the aquarium’s otter habitat. (Brenna Hernandez / Shedd Aquarium)

The still-unnamed pup arrived at Shedd Aquarium in November 2023 and recently made his public debut after acclimating behind the scenes.

(Brenna Hernandez / Shedd Aquarium)

If you’re seeking activities that don’t break the bank this winter, look no further than local museums, zoos and gardens. A number have announced free admission days in 2024.

Pup EL2306 is Shedd Aquarium’s newest charmer. The sea otter was rescued in Alaska at the end of October and arrived at Shedd in late November. (Brenna Hernandez / Shedd Aquarium)

Shedd is one of only 11 institutions in North America with the resources to give a rescued sea otter pup a home.

This epaulette shark pup hatched Aug. 23, 2023, at Brookfield Zoo, born from what staff believe was an unfertilized egg. (Jim Schulz / CZS-Brookfield Zoo)

The epaulette shark pup hatched Aug. 23, born from what staff believe was an unfertilized egg. 

Shedd Aquarium’s newest rockhopper penguin, hatched in June, took its first swim with the entire colony.

Shedd Aquarium’s newest rockhopper penguin, hatched in June, just took its first swim with the entire colony and the results were mixed. 

An endangered Bowmouth Guitarfish, one of three 11-month-old pups that has arrived at Shedd Aquarium. (Brenna Hernandez / Shedd Aquarium)

Bowmouth Guitarfish, also called Shark Rays, are hunted for their fins and thorns. Three rescued pups have arrived at Shedd Aquarium.

Models and renderings showing plans for the renovated Shedd Aquarium. (WTTW News)

The renovation process, which is slated to begin in the coming weeks, is set to be divided into multiple phases that will extend across the next four years as the aquarium introduces new learning studios and exhibits and renovates its existing gardens and entrance points.

(Gavin Wright / Shedd Aquarium)

For the first time in eight years, there’s a rockhopper penguin chick at the Shedd Aquarium.

(WTTW News)

The world’s oceans and marine life are under threat. Two Chicago-area women have made it their mission to tackle the issue, with a new business venture billed as the “future of seafood.” They’ll soon supply restaurants and grocers with a new spin on the plant-based trend: faux fish.

Shedd Aquarium biologist Melissa Youngquist, checking in on wetland monitoring sites. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

This time of year, Shedd Aquarium biologist Melissa Youngquist can be found in the woods, sloshing through ponds in search of signs of amphibian life.

(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

The Great Lakes was named a global “Hope Spot,” joining the Galapagos Islands, the Great Barrier Reef and the Bering Sea as a place identified as critical to the health of the ocean.

The Field Museum of Natural History. (Field Museum / Facebook)

With a NASCAR street race set to take place outside their front doors, Chicago’s lakefront museums have had to shift gears and adjust operations in advance of the big event July 1-2.

(WTTW News)

Researchers at Northwestern University found that people who live directly next to Lake Michigan or along one of the major interstate highways running through Chicago are regularly exposed to more air pollution than residents in the rest of the city.

The Wild Mile floating wetland in the Chicago River, October 2022. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Researchers from Shedd Aquarium and Chicago-based Urban Rivers teamed with counterparts in Boston and Baltimore and confirmed that floating wetlands can improve water quality and provide vital habitat.