Extinct Madagascar: Picturing the Island's Past

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Saturday, August 30, 2014 to Thursday, October 1, 2015

Located just off the coast of Southeast Africa, the island of Madagascar has been home to an abundance of plants and animals found nowhere else on Earth.  The island’s seclusion allows native animals and plants to evolve in isolation, resulting in some of the earth’s most bizarre and surprising creatures. Can you imagine a gorilla-sized lemur? Or a bird that stood 10 feet tall? Picturing what the island of Madagascar used to be – and the fantastical creatures that roamed it – is a challenge for scientists and artists alike. In the unique upcoming exhibition, Extinct Madagascar: Picturing the Island’s Past, you’ll learn how Field Museum scientist Steve Goodman and State University of New York professor Bill Jungers teamed up with artist Velizar Simeonovski to recapture the extinct animals and their habitats by creating digital illustrations—from the bones up.

Plus, you’ll see the results of your feedback: we shared the digital images with our social media community and you told us what details you want to learn more about in the exhibition. Discover the research and scientific findings that influenced the illustrations, follow the complex process of reconstructing extinct animals, and hear from the experts as they tackle our social community’s ongoing input. Tell us how you think our experts did in recreating Madagascar’s past, and participate directly in the exhibition by sharing your own thoughts and questions at #ThinkExtinct.