Blogs & Videos: Environment & Conservation

How Bird Vomit Helps Us Understand History

Like many kids, I dissected owl pellets when I was in school - but I never realized they can be used by scientists to learn about certain aspects of an ecosystem. And today, paleontologists like Matt McDowell are using these pellets to learn about the history of an environment, to preserve them for the future.

Hallway with natural history images on the walls, with #AskACurator and @FieldMuseum printed over it

Ask A Curator Day: Insects, Birds, Fossils, Meteorites, and More!

Join us for #AskACurator Day on Wednesday, September 14! Bring all your questions related to natural history, science, museum collections, and research. We’ll be taking questions throughout the day on Twitter @FieldMuseum, along with a livestream on Facebook and scientists taking questions on their own Twitter handles. Here are just a few topics Field Museum scientists are eager to talk about (all times mentioned are CT): 

Campaigning for CHANGE! Don't be Shallow - Vote for Mallow

In our last video we got to see one of the rarest flowers in the world blooming in its habitat for the first time in over a decade. It's the Kankakee mallow (Iliamna remota), under threat of extirpation and completely unique to Illinois... and we want to make it the official state flower! Field outreach coordinator Robb Telfer kicked off the campaign and we're TAKIN' IT TO THE STREETS. It's an election year, after all. 

This flower only grows in the wild on a single tiny island... in Illinois.

The Kankakee Mallow (Iliamna remota) is a special little flower. The only place in the world it's found in the wild is on a single small island in the middle of the Kankakee River in Illinois - but until last year, it hadn't been seen in over a decade, and was feared to be extinct. Thanks to volunteer efforts, we got to be some of the first to see it back in bloom!

Aerial view of dense green treetops

A big step in the 300-year quest to find every tree species in the Amazon

How many different kinds of trees grow in the Amazon? This may sound like an impossible question to answer—we’re talking about the most biodiverse rainforest on Earth. Hundreds of thousands of different plants and animals live there, with more being discovered every year.

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