In 1896, taxidermist Carl Akeley ventured to Somalia on a research expedition with Field Museum scientists, and procured a quartet of striped hyenas (among many other things). For more than six decades, these taxidermied mounts sat in an unfinished diorama case - and we wanted to do something about it! Read more about Carl Akeley's Striped Hyenas
Blogs & Videos: The Brain Scoop
Check out what our Chief Curiosity Correspondent, Emily Graslie, has explored on The Brain Scoop!
Last year, The Brain Scoop kicked off Project Hyena Diorama, an Indiegogo campaign aimed at raising the funds necessary to build a brand new permanent habitat diorama at The Field Museum that would house a quartet of striped hyenas taxidermied by Carl Akeley in 1896. In six weeks we raised 91% of the funds thanks to Brain Scoop and museum fans from all over the world, and so began the long process of research and construction. The diorama will be officially open to the public on January 27th, 2016!
Read more about Painting the Diorama
An episode about deadly rocks! Really, it's about some minerals which may contain harmful elements that through the repeated, ongoing, and/or prolonged exposure to them in unregulated environments may cause damage over time... but that doesn't fit in the title. Read more about Death Rocks
Our ability to use today's technology in unique and novel ways is a major part of scientific discovery. In this episode, Dr. Stephanie Pierce shows us how she uses 3D modeling software to experiment on the bones of animals that went extinct millions of years ago, in order to figure out how they moved and walked.
Read more about Bending Fossils: Experiments In Paleontology (Harvard Adventures, Part 3)
Paleontologists today look at more than just fossil evidence to learn about organisms that lived millions of years ago. For this episode we visited Dr. Katrina Jones at Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology to learn how she dissects and examines animals living today in the search for answers about the movements and evolution of early synapsids!
Read more about Fisher Dissection: Harvard Adventures, Part 2
Paleontologists today look at more than just fossil evidence to learn about organisms that lived millions of years ago. In this case, we're seeking to answer the question: how, and when, did mammals evolve their specialized movements? Turns out, the next step in this process involves dissecting a giant weasel. This is part one in a three-part series supported in part by The Field Museum, the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University, and The National Science Foundation (!!!!). Read more about The Origin of Mammal Movement: Harvard Adventures, Part I
Diaphonization -- otherwise known as clearing and staining -- is one of the most photogenic preparation methods used by research scientists. It's beautiful, but is it practical? We interviewed Dr. Caleb McMahan, Collection Manager of Fishes, on how he uses this technique to answer questions about the evolution of fish! Big thanks to Caleb for taking the time to share his work with us, and to Alan Resetar for lending the reptile and amphibian specimens!... as well as the extra light table because ours broke right before filming. :( Read more about Clearing and Staining Fishes
Emily answers some more FAQ's! Read more about Ask Emily #11
Out of any creatures in the animal kingdom, spiders seem to have the worst reputation. Their many legs and unpredictable movements elicit a fear response in even the most stoic of individuals. Let's take a moment to put our fear aside and learn more about these global dominators with Dr. Petra Sierwald! Dr. Sierwald is an arachnologist specializing in spiders, scorpions, and millipedes. Check out her profile on The Field Museum's website to learn more about her research: Read more about Spiders: The First Web Developers
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