A large fish model in a display case in the Searle Family Lounge. The balcony is framed with neoclassical arches and visitors stop to look at a digital rail.

Searle Family Lounge

Category: Exhibition

Exhibition Summary


Included with Basic admission

Targeted age groups

All ages


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Pause and examine something new.

The Searle Family Lounge features temporary displays of large collections items you can examine up close (think: dinosaur skull or giant microscope).

Situated in the north balcony overlooking Stanley Field Hall, it’s also one of the Field’s best photo spots—with a flying pterosaur, Máximo the Titanosaur, and Carl Akeley's elephants in-frame. Plus, you can pause on the benches to enjoy an educational video about Field Museum research. 

Photo by Instagram user @meggzbeth.

Meet the Coelacanth

Did you know this fish is more closely related to mammals like you and other tetrapods than it is to other fishes? Coelacanths are incredibly important in the study of evolution. They were thought to have gone extinct over 65 mill years ago. A specimen found in fishing nets in the 1930s was a huge discovery that furthers our understanding of fish evolution, as well as vertebrate evolution.

Come face to face with this replica of Coelacanth, (SEE-lo-kanth) in the Searle Lounge and discover what we have in common with these once thought to be extinct fishes.

Join fishes collections manager Caleb McMahan behind-the-scenes for a look at the coelacanth!