Fishes

Sawfish “Virgin Birth” Discovery

“Life, uh, finds a way.” Any Field Museum fan worth their salt probably remembers the scene in Jurassic Park where Jeff Goldblum’s character explains that even though all the dinosaurs in the park are female, they might still find a way to reproduce. But this isn’t science fiction—Field Museum scientists have recently helped discover that smalltooth sawfish, critically endangered shark relatives, sometimes reproduce through “virgin birth.”

Fishes goes to Guatemala - Follow us in the field!

Next week our staff in Fishes at The Field Museum will be leaving the cold, snowy days of Chicago to study neotropical fishes in the Central American country of Guatemala!  The Field Museum has always been an important institution for studying the biodiversity of fishes in the tropical rainforests of Mexico, Central America, and South America.  On this expedition our Fishes staff will continue to build on our fish collections from the region so that we can answer even more questions.

Video: Leo on Bioluminescence

Beyond the reach of sunlight, thousands of feet below the surface of the ocean, some creatures create their own light known as "bioluminescence." Take a trip through the mind of Leo Smith, who asks questions about deep sea fish evolution. Patterns in diversity can offer clues to why fish have evolved so many ways of brightening up the deep sea. Some seem to use light to blend into their surroundings, others to lure prey out of the surroundings, or even to attract mates.

Science at FMNH : Ep. 47 - DNA Residency Showcase

For the past two summers, youth who participated in the DNA Research Summer Residency planned, filmed, and edited short videos on the genetic research they conducted with Museum scientists.  All participants were trained in molecular biology laboratory methods and equipment used in The Field Museum’s Pritzker Lab/Rice DNA Discovery Center, gathered data relevant to current research programs, and learned about all aspects of the scientific method.

Shark Genetic Conservation Student Video

This video was created by the 2011 DNA Residency Team Shark, Tom Champion (educator, Naperville North), Griffin Harris (student, New Trier High), and Prahi Thirkateh (Naperville North High).  They outline population bottlenecks and discuss the problems that changes in population size might be for the conservation of sharks.

Science at FMNH : Ep. 17 - Wyoming 52 million years ago

52 million years ago Wyoming was a tropical forest. A lake bed from this tropical environment formed one of the world’s most productive fresh water fossil locations.  Over the past 30 years, Dr. Lance Grande has unearthed fossil fish, birds, plants, and reptiles from this area, and studied their implications for the evolution of many species alive today.

Science at FMNH : Ep. 13 - The Geologic Record & Environmental Change

The environment in which we live is not static, and the 4.6 billion years of Earth history are a history of change.  Scientists in the Geology Department use cutting edge research to understand the formation of the solar system and the evolution of life on an ever-changing Earth.  

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