In which we set out and find fossil meteorites in time and space. Wait... meteorites can be fossilized?! Mind blown. Read more about Philipp Heck's meteoritical research and the arrival of fossil meteorites at The Field Museum! Thanks to Mario Tassinari for the loan of the fossil meteorites, and Birger Schmitz for pioneering this field. Thanks to Philipp Heck, The Field Museum and NASA/JPL for archive images and video. Read more about Fossil Meteorites
Blogs & Videos: Imaging and Scanning
Medieval weaponry and youth outreach don’t often appear in the same sentence, much less the same room. Fortunately, thanks to a recent partnership between the Exhibitions Shop and the Digital Media Learning Program, area high schoolers had a chance to design and build their own catapults! Together, they applied many of the same techniques used for the Biomechanics show to realize their own innovations. Read more about A Summer Fling
Contrary to the image of mummies portrayed by the popular Scooby-Doo cartoon, mummies are not monsters, capable of smashing through walls; in fact, most mummies are too fragile even to stand on end. Egyptian mummies are embalmed lying on their back, and so fit easily into a medical CT scanner, which looks a bit like a spaceship with a table for the patient that slides through a hole in the middle of the machine. Peruvian mummies are a different story, though, since they were buried crouching – the larger examples won’t fit through the hole. Read more about Mummies and Cheetahs, in 3D!
The glass windows that enclose The Field Museum’s Pritzker Laboratory on the second floor of the museum give visitors a glimpse into the daily lives of the scientists, students, and interns that work there. Now, visitors can also get a glimpse of the future – a new DNA sequencer has arrived, and its users are busy enjoying its capabilities! Read more about The Future of DNA Investigations at The Field Museum
Nina Cummings, who ably heads our photo archives in the museum shared with me an interesting blog post she saw recently. It was from The Library of Congress and was written by Bill LeFurgy, their digital initiatives manager of the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program. The title of the blog post was “What do researchers want from institutions that preserve digital content?” Here at the museum we are working through our digital initiatives so the post resonated on several fronts. The opening statement included this: “User expectations influence so much of what stewardship organizations do. We collect and preserve all content primarily to support use.” Read more about What do researchers want?
Properly piecing together a rare early human skull (12,000 to 15,000 years old!) is a difficult task, but Robert Martin and JP Brown are pioneering the usage of medical technologies to give us a better picture of what Magdalenian Woman really looked like. Read more about Video: Putting Heads Together
These days, “digitization” is a frequently word heard around the museum. Through the years have been some really interesting projects to bring natural history specimens to more people through pictures (see for example the on-line archive of the Berlin negatives of type plant specimens). We are doing a project in the Bird Division we call “The Egg Book.” It is a project that is being done with Ivy Press as part of a series of books they have completed in collaboration with the University of Chicago Press which includes The Book of Leaves and The Book of Fungi. Our book is progressing on a rapid schedule. It will showcase the eggs of 600 species of birds, most of which will come from our collection, but not all as I talk about below. Read more about The Egg Book cometh
A sequence showing the CT scan of a new fossil pteridosperm ovule (Stephanospermum braidwoodensis FMNH P30420) from Mazon Creek in Illinois as described by Alan Spencer, Jason Hilton and Mark Sutton in the journal Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology. Read more about Stephanospermum braidwoodensis: CT scan
A sequence of wafer-cut sections through a new fossil pteridosperm ovule (Stephanospermum braidwoodensis FMNH P30420) from Mazon Creek in Illinois as described by Alan Spencer, Jason Hilton and Mark Sutton in the journal Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology. Read more about Stephanospermum braidwoodensis: wafered sections
Let's cut straight to the chase: there's just one owl. It's great to know that it has survived for over a week in the Montrose Beach Dunes (a state-designated natural area) on the city's north side, despite many potential predators in the area and many eager birders trying to add it to their state lists. The last time a Burrowing Owl that showed up there--in 2008--it only survived for a morning before falling prey to a Cooper's Hawk. Read more about BURROWING OWL at Montrose!