Open 9 am - 5 pm
Two Piranhas swim in large leafy aquatic plants

Rivers

From opening massive mouths to catch food drifting by to knocking bugs out of the sky with expert aim, the animals of the world's rivers are beautiful, bizarre, or a little bit of both. The freshwater wonders of our Rivers exhibit have incredible adaptations, from the inflatable bodies of the Cross River puffer to the vibrant colors of the violet-line piranha.

  • Two guests gaze into the lush freshwater fish habitat in Underwater Beauty, a special exhibit at Shedd.

    Find

    Some animals in Rivers can be hard to spot—and reward close looking!

  • A closeup of an Australian lungfish as it swims toward the viewer, its wedge-shaped head with its downturned mouth and small beady eye turned toward the viewer.

    Breathe

    Meet the Australian lungfish, which relies on both gills and lungs to breathe.

  • This colorful, inquisitive fish lives in fresh water.

    Ripple

    Take in freshwater fishes from around the world in this diverse exhibit.

Where freshwater flows

Rivers cover around 480,000 square miles of our planet. They're crucial to the communities that rely on them—people and animals alike! River animals have developed incredible adaptations, like the paddlefish, which swims with a wide-open mouth to catch food drifting by on the current, or the glass catfish, which has no scales and is completely transparent, almost disappearing in the river's flow.

Clouded Archerfish

Paddlefish

Violet-Line Piranha

Fly River Turtle

Lungfish