Seeing Double: How The Field Museum Makes Fossil Casts

Lumbering bear-like creatures that browsed Paleocene forests called pantodonts are some of the many fossil mammals immortalized at The Field Museum. They’re some of the first large mammals after the extinction of dinosaurs, and despite their intimidating canine teeth, they were herbivores. While these animals were likely a dominant species in their time, today they are represented by a limited number of excavated fossil specimens.

“Fire Frogs” and Eel-like Amphibians: Meet The Field’s Newest Fossil Discoveries

Two hundred and seventy-eight million years ago, the world was a different place. Not only were the landmasses merged into the supercontinent of Pangaea, but the land was home to ancient animals unlike anything alive today. But until now, very little information was available about what animals were present in the southern tropics.

“Scarface”: The Dachshund-sized Pre-mammal with a (Possibly) Venomous Bite

Two hundred and fifty-two million years ago, huge volcanic eruptions triggered a mass extinction bigger than the one that ended the dinosaurs, changing life on earth forever. Field Museum scientist Ken Angielczyk and his colleagues are now studying this event, the Permian-Triassic Extinction, to learn about how communities bounce back after falling apart. And one newly discovered ancient mammal relative is helping them get closer to their answers—meet “Scarface.”

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