2016 By The Numbers

It's been an exciting year here at The Field Museum: we explored nature and culture all around the globe, continued making discoveries within our collections, and invited visitors to learn with us.

To stay in touch and see what we're up to in 2017, sign up for our newsletter at fieldmuseum.org/newsletter and become a member at fieldmuseum.org/membership.  

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1 arm removed from SUE (temporarily) for a study

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A man standing under a T. rex skeleton, and a close up of a large arm with two fingers and claws

“One of the big mysteries about T. rex is its tiny forelimbs,” says Pete Makovicky, Associate Curator of Dinosaurs. At the Argonne National Lab, scientists took micro-CT scans of SUE’s arm to get a close-up look at the inside of the bone.

200 journal publications by Field Museum scientists

Our scientists are actively conducting research to answer key questions about our world. This year, publications covered topics from ant genomics to fossil “beardogs.

2,000 Tully monsters in our collections that helped us identify what kind of animal it is

For decades, scientists couldn’t determine what kinds of animals Tully monsters actually were. Studying 2,000+ specimens in our collections helped us discover that the state fossil of Illinois is a jawless fish.

39 new genera or species described

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Illustration of two large orange dinosaurs attacking a smaller green dinosaur
Gualicho shinyae © Jorge González and Pablo Lara

One of these new species was Gualicho shinyae, a theropod dinosaur with short, two-fingered claws similar to T. rex’s tiny arms (although the two aren’t closely related).

11,676 known tree species in the Amazon...and 4,000 species yet to be discovered

Field Museum scientists compiled a list of all known tree species in the Amazon. This process involved working with museums all over the world and looking at half a million specimens collected over the last 300 years, from 1707 to 2015. The tree species that remain to be found are extremely rare. In fact, many of them probably exist in parts of the rainforest where humans have never set foot.

2 new Elisabeth Daynès sculptures in Evolving Planet

These intensely realistic depictions of Homo ergaster and Homo neanderthalensis bring human evolution to life in our Evolving Planet exhibition.

100 field guides published

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Several brightly colored flowers, including orange, yellow, and pink
Excerpt of Field Guide 793

People use Field Guides as quick and accessible tools for identifying an ever-growing range of plants and animals.

1,500 years since turkeys were domesticated

New Field Museum research showed that turkeys were domesticated as long as 1,500 years ago, as revealed by turkey bones and eggshells unearthed in Mexico.

28 new mammal species discovered on Luzon Island in the Philippines

In a 15-year project that culminated this year, scientists found that the world’s greatest concentration of unique mammal species exists on Luzon Island. 93 percent of mammals on Luzon are found nowhere else.