Blogs & Videos: Sciences

Close-up of an orange and black butterfly perched on a group of small, unopened flowers

How Milkweeds Can Save Monarch Butterflies And Beautify Your Garden

Did you know milkweeds aren’t really weeds at all? In fact, they’re native plants with large pink, orange, or white flowers. In addition to their charm, plants in the genus Asclepias are the host plants for the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus), meaning they are the only food for the monarch larvae, or caterpillars. Without milkweeds, the monarch butterfly has no chance for survival.

Three different kinds of flowers: small, bright orange flowers; bright pink flowers with a yellow butterfly perched on top; and a light pink flower with a bumblebee on it

Roll Up Your Sleeves: How to Grow Native Plants in Your Garden

If you’re gearing up to add native plants to your yard this spring, then congratulations! You’ll make your space more beautiful, with the added bonus of being hospitable to the butterflies and other pollinators (like bees, beetles, and birds) around you.  Before you start (literally) digging in, take a moment to plan the layout of the garden (or a small strip of land along a fence—the pollinators will appreciate that as well). While doing this, take the following into consideration:

A bright orange and black butterfly on a purple flower with yellow center

Every Flower Counts: Five Reasons to Add Native Plants to Your Garden

Chicagoland used to be a vast prairie buzzing with life and supporting thousands of species of insects, birds, and other animals. As the area was developed and farmed, the landscape became fragmented, leading to the demise of many animal and plant populations. A recent—and very much publicized—effect has been the decline of the monarch butterfly, an insect that migrates annually from Mexico to Canada, spending a lot of time in the Midwest along the way.

A woman smiling at the camera, standing in a green field with mountains in the background

Women in Science: Corrie Moreau, Evolutionary Biologist and Entomologist

We're highlighting women in science at The Field Museum and their diverse areas of research, paths to working in science, and their advice for future scientists. Hear from MacArthur Associate Curator of Insects Dr. Corrie Moreau: How did you get to where you are?

Left: Two green turtles on a log in a lake with green algae. Right: A large brown turtle with a tall shell sitting among rocks and grass.

What Do We Mean by “Theory” in Science? (And How Turtle Shells Can Help Explain)

In a previous blog post, I talked about the definition of “fact” in a scientific context, and discussed how facts differ from hypotheses and theories. The latter two terms also are well worth looking at in more detail because they are used differently by scientists and the general public, which can cause confusion when scientists talk about their work.

Two photos side-by-side: A women sitting in front of a large drill, and a bowl with a gold bracket attached to it, for display

Women in Art: Ann Prazer, Mountmaker

We're highlighting women artists at The Field Museum and exploring the intersection of art and science. Hear from Ann Prazer, exhibitions mount shop crew leader and mountmaker: How did you get your start as an artist? I have a BFA in Studio Art, with a concentration in both painting and photography. I’ve worked at art galleries, for photographers, and stumbled into this job because I had metalworking experience and had taken classes in museum studies. What does your job entail? What’s your day-to-day like? 

A woman in a blue shirt standing in water, holding up a large fish

Women in Science: Lesley de Souza, Conservation Biologist

We're highlighting women in science at The Field Museum and their diverse areas of research, paths to working in science, and their advice for future scientists. Hear from Lesley de Souza, conservation biologist in the Andes-Amazon Program: How did you get to where you are?

Shelves of large, ornate books in different colors (green, brown, red, blue), many with gold designs emblazoned on their spines

Four Fascinating Finds in the Rare Book Room, from Audubon to Ole Worm

The Field Museum’s collection includes many different objects: dinosaur bones, dried plants, and ancient artifacts, just to name a few. But there’s another fascinating collection here that you may not expect: books. They’re located in an active, working library, where researchers can make appointments to pore through books and documents on a wide range of subjects.

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