“Where do you get 100-million-year-old dinosaur blood?” asks Dr. Ellie Sattler, a character in the original “Jurassic Park” movie. In the film, dinosaurs are cloned from DNA preserved in amber. More specifically, from dinosaur blood inside mosquitoes that are trapped in the amber. Spoiler alert: things get a little out of hand as the cloned dinos wreak havoc on Isla Nublar. Read more about Revisiting “Jurassic Park”: Could dinosaurs really be cloned?
Blogs & Videos: Collections
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. Read more about Beetles, Mites, Cockroaches Oh My! [Insect Collection Tour]
February 12 is Darwin’s birthday. To celebrate, check out some of the coolest things we have in our collections with a link to the Granddaddy of Biology himself. Read more about 5 Behind-the-Scenes Specimens with Links to Darwin
On the third floor of The Field Museum, hiding among labs and offices, is the Mary W. Runnells Rare Book Room. Located adjacent to the Library’s Reading Room, about 7,500 volumes and 3,000 pieces of art are contained within its temperature-and humidity-controlled space. Read more about Treasures Revealed: The Mary W. Runnells Rare Book Room
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
Invertebrate paleontologists aren’t afraid of anything, so when Collections Manager Paul Mayer was offered a chance to add hundreds of monsters to The Field’s collections, he jumped at the opportunity. The monsters in question, Tully monsters, are just a small part of the enormous donation of Thomas V. Testa’s collection of Mazon Creek fossils that The Field Museum just received from Field Associate Jack Wittry. Read more about Monsters Storm The Field
Macrolichens in the family Lobariaceae are among the most conspicuous and charismatic lichens on the planet, due to their often large, colorful thalli and their ecological importance and potential uses. Many species have cyanobacterial photobionts and are capable of fixing atmospheric nitrogen, hence acting as biological fertilizers. Lobariaceae are also good indicators of environmental health and the conservation status of forest ecosystems. Species such as Lobaria pulmonaria have been used in homoeopathic medicine. Read more about Field Museum Intern Hannah Ranft takes a stab at revising New Zealand lichens
After cleaning, the first part of Minirdis’ burial equipment that we treated was his coffin. The coffin was constructed of wood panels joined with wood dowels. A layer of an orange colored plaster like material had been applied over the wood to fill gaps between the wood panels and provide a smooth surface. On top of the plaster layer, the coffin had been painted black with red and yellow decoration. Read more about Through thick and thin! Stabilizing the Plaster on Minirdis’ Coffin
Removing the lid of the coffin was just the start. Now there was the problem of removing the damaged mummy from the lower half of the coffin. With the lid off we found that the right side piece, which had been held in place by the lid, was detached from the bottom of the coffin and could easily be removed. This meant that the mummy could be slid out, instead of trying to pick it up – good news because the assembly was very fragile. Even so, this was no small task, and it took four people to safely move him out of the coffin. Read more about How to Uncoffin a Mummy
Traveling exhibits pose a challenge for museums, especially when particularly fragile objects such as mummies are involved. We want to share our objects and what we’ve found out about them with people outside the museum, but transporting the objects to other museums involves all kinds for risks – traffic accidents, malfunctioning forklifts, road vibration, and freezing winters to name just a few. Read more about Introduction to the Conservation of "Mummies: Images of the Afterlife"