One of the best zoos Collections Manager Robert Lücking has ever visited is the North Carolina Zoo, with its vast area allowing much space for its animals. Also, the attention to detail is quite amazing. Many dioramas include rock features made out of various materials including concrete, specifically designed to meet the animals' needs. What is astonishing, however, that the designers and builders even took care to mimic lichens growing on these fake rocks, and even on close-up these look so real that one has to make sure they are not just paint. Read more about Attention to lichen detail in the polar bear habitat
Blogs & Videos
Every day at The Field Museum we're exploring something new, whether it's hidden deep in our collections or being investigated out in the field. Tune in to our blogs and videos to learn about breakthrough discoveries firsthand from our Field Museum scientists, or discover what curiosity Emily Graslie has stumbled upon in our vaults, or see how our science is making an impact in the world around you.
Check out what our Chief Curiosity Correspondent, Emily Graslie, has explored on The Brain Scoop!
Explore the treasures of The Field Museum's collections with The Field Revealed video series.
Recent Blog Posts
Back in the days, our fungi and lichens Collections Manager Robert Lücking was involved in a project to design and establish a canopy access system in French Guiana for the study of the functional biodiversity of tropical rain forest canopies. The system was named COPAS: Canopy Operation Access System. To obtain initial funding for the project, Robert spent countless hours to built the model depicted here, including trees with a canopy formed by reindeer lichens. Read more about Lichens helped to establish canopy research system in French Guiana
Lichens of the genus Cladina (the reindeer lichens) are commonly used as ornaments, including for dioramas with model trains, where they make bushes and tree crowns. Our fungi and lichens Collections Manager Robert Lücking used to have a model train when he was young and remembers spending many hours building the diorama, setting up small areas of forest and bush using differently colored lichens. He had no idea at that point that he would actually study lichens scientifically when grown up. Read more about Lichens and model trains
April is taxidermy and diorama month. At first glance difficult to make a connection to lichens. But only at first glance. Of course the best example of lichen dioramas is our very own lichen exhibit, and especially its center piece: the now famous car door. It nicely shows how an old piece of "junk", specifically the driver door of a classic Ford Bronco, can come to shine in new light. Whereas a lichen-covered car is already a spectacular sight, our exhibit team did a fabulous job in setting up said door in a case illuminated with UV, making it look like a precious jewel. Read more about Old, lichen-covered car door displayed like a precious jewel
Wherein Emily and Anna learn taxidermy from Katie Innamorato, founder of AfterlifeAnatomy! There are a number of significant differences between the art of taxidermy and the preparation of animal specimens for research. Join us as we gut it... together! Read more about How to Taxidermy a Squirrel
Access to internet while in the field can be pretty difficult - but here are some photos of our last several days of exploring fishes in Guatemala! Diego_castnet.jpg Diego Elias throws a cast net. Read more about Fishes in Guatemala - Photo Update!
The very first mummy and coffin we treated for this project was that of Minirdis. We know his name from the hieroglyphs on the coffin. Read more about Opening the Coffin of Minirdis
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos). Photo © Arlene Koziol. Read more about Things seen in the Bird Division #9 (or: The fish that killed a pelican)
We've just finished up doing work in some pretty remote areas (sorry we were unable to post a blog or photos lately!). Just a quick update - below are some of the fishes we've been collecting... dsc_0759.jpg Poecilia petenensis, from Lago Peten-Itza. Read more about Fishes in Guatemala - An Update
There's a great feature in eBird that allows you to see recent checklists from whatever area you'd like, giving birders the ability to keep up with sightings in their area. As migration picks up, this function allows you to learn what's being seen at local hotspots, even if there are no posts to the local listserve or Facebook birding group. I don't think many birders are taking advantage of this function, so here I present an illustrated tutorial on how to access it. Read more about Using eBird to keep up with recent sightings in your area