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, discover curiosities in our vaults with Emily Graslie, or see how our science is making an impact in the world around you.

Recent Blog Posts

Beetles, Mites, Cockroaches Oh My! [Insect Collection Tour]

The insect collection is the largest at The Field Museum, with more than 12 million specimens - only (only?!) 4 million of those are pinned in the dry collection. Crystal is in charge of all of them- no pressure. Want to search the zoological collections on your own? Look no further!:http://bit.ly/fmnhzoology

Crystal and her Water Beetles

Want to travel the world? Become a biologist! Crystal Maier - Collections Manager of Insects at The Field Museum - spent a month in New Zealand, going from stream to stream in search of hobbits. And by hobbits I mean beetles that spend their entire lives underwater. How?! Why?! We get answers. Thanks to Crystal for taking the time to talk with us about her research! 

How to Beat Extinction: Live Fast, Die Young

When you don’t know if you have much of a future, you focus more on the now—there’s no point in biding your time and waiting when you could die any day. It seems that evolution follows this rule too—a recent study published by Field Museum scientists in Scientific Reports reveals that for Lystrosaurus (pygmy hippo-sized mammal relatives that lived with the dinosaurs), when the going got tough, the tough got busy.

The Taxonomy of Candy

In our previous video 'What is a Species?,' we talked about the many ways scientists approach classifying organisms. So, I thought it'd be fun to get a few scientists from The Field Museum to apply their taxonomic know-how on something we're all familiar with: candy! How would you have organized these various confections? 

Putting Together the Pieces to Prevent Tiger Extinction

Two hundred years ago, over 60,000 tigers lived in India. This figure has since decreased by 90 percent. Today, fewer than 3,500 tigers remain in the wild, and only seven percent of the historic tiger habitat remains. These habitats, mostly scattered across India, are becoming increasingly isolated as the country continues to urbanize. Dr. Uma Ramakrishnan, a population geneticist and biodiversity ecologist at India's National Centre for Biological Sciences, uses genetic information from tigers and landscape modeling of India to help curtail this disturbing trend.  

Nesting: How Scientific Collections Helped Reveal an Artist’s Inspiration

The Field Museum is home to 30 million specimens that get sent around the world—most of the time, they’re used for scientific research, but this time, they wound up in an art museum right here in Chicago. The Art Institute of Chicago has a new exhibition featuring Van Gogh’s paintings of bedrooms that explores his artistic influences and the concept of home. His fascination with homes included a collection of birds’ nests that became the subject matter of several of his paintings.

Saving a River from Poison

The Putumayo River is home to some of the purest water in the Amazon basin—but maybe not for long. The huge Amazon tributary forms the border between Colombia and Peru, draining from giant Amazonian forests, orchid-covered peatlands, and, most presciently, soil bearing traces of gold. But mining that gold has the unfortunate side-effect of poisoning the water with mercury.

What is a species?

New species of lifeforms are being discovered and described on our planet every single day -- but, when we talk about a species, what are we really referring to? Turns out, the answer is... complicated. This video is by no means comprehensive. Species concepts are some of the most complex and, at times, controversial topics in biology. This video ought to serve as your window down into the rabbit hole. If you're interested in this sort of thing, check out some of the articles below! 

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