The power of museum collections often comes from volume: with a higher sample size, more can be learned with great precision. But sometimes you can learn a great deal from a single specimen, too. Read more about Things seen in the Bird Division #10: Where did the waxwing go?
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
You know that part in Game of Thrones where the dragon eggs hatch when they’re put in fire? This is like that, but with a super-endangered flower.
Illinois’s only native wildflower, the Kankakee mallow, has been missing from this state for years—it was presumed extinct in its native habitat. But this year, Field Museum scientists and volunteers from the Friends of Langham Island group were able to bring it back. Their secret? Setting fire to the ground where the plants once lived.
Read more about Born from the Ashes
More than 420 million years ago ancient millipedes took their first many -- many many many -- steps onto land. Today they remain largely cryptic animals, as there are tens of thousands of species still unknown to science. Associate Curator Dr. Petra Sierwald, arachnologist and millipede expert, is working to create a visual atlas to help with our understanding and identification of these mysterious creatures!
If you find a millipede and would like to have it identified, send us an image! thebrainscoop(at)gmail(dot)com
Read more about Millipedes: The First Land Animals
It's been a long time coming: after more than two years of construction, this morning Northerly Island officially reopened. Although not "officially" open until 10am, many people were out early this morning enjoying the new paved walkway that loops through the southern 40 acres of the park. I was one of those people, hoping for some interesting migrants and checking out the site's birding potential. Read more about Northerly Island reopens!
The only White-winged Dove that I've seen in Illinois, on the campus of Northwestern University, Evanston, on 27 May 2007. © Josh Engel Read more about Illinois' first White-winged Dove specimen
At tea parties, etiquette is key. You need to know which spoon to use, whether to pour the milk or the tea first, and, when a fellow scientist hands you an owl pellet for your research, how to graciously accept it and dissect it right there at the table.
Field Museum collections manager Bill Stanley was at a garden tea party in Tanzania when a colleague handed him a coffee can containing an owl pellet for him to study. The hacked-up mass of fur and bones contained the key to a scientific discovery—the skull of a rat never before seen in the region.
Read more about Tea Parties, Bird Barf, and Rat Skulls
A lot of ink was spilled around the Grateful Dead concerts on the Museum campus last month, but none of the stories I read mentioned the one really indispensable detail—so I figure I'll air it here. Read more about A Diorama for Jerry's Guitar
Tom! Good luck in the big city, and thanks for all of your hard work over the last 1.5 years. We'll miss you!
Stay tuned for updates on Project Hyena Diorama: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/pr...
See you all soon! Read more about Taking a short break -- see you soon!
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.” Read more about “Scarface”: The Dachshund-sized Pre-mammal with a (Possibly) Venomous Bite
Joyce Havstad, PhD holds the title Philosopher-in-Residence at The Field Museum.* We had the joy of interviewing her about some of the fascinating concepts she researches and explores -- in this case, what is a holotype? And how can paleontologists determine new species of prehistoric life based off of incomplete fossil skeletons?
*It's probably the only job title that can compete with 'Chief Curiosity Correspondent', really.
Read more about The First Brachiosaurus