Facts Matter at The Field Museum

In science, we're constantly striving to make new discoveries and gain a better understanding of life, nature, and the world around us. 

Watch as some of our science communicators and experts take us on a tour through the Evolving Planet exhibition, showcasing just a few of many science facts you can find here. At The Field Museum, we're always doing research and learning more, and we invite you to be curious and explore the facts alongside us.

At The Field Museum, Facts Matter. 

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A woman holding a poster with a handwritten statement on it, standing in front of museum cases with fossils and other objects.

Emily Graslie, Chief Curiosity Correspondent

The Earth is 4.5 billion years old.  

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A man in a white lab coat holding a handwritten sign and standing in front of a museum exhibit showing volcanoes erupting.

Philipp Heck, Robert A. Pritzker Associate Curator of Meteoritics and Polar Studies

Dimetrodon is more closely related to humans than to dinosaurs. 

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A man holding a handwritten sign, standing in front of a museum case containing a fossil animal with many spikes down its spine

Ken Angielcyzk, Associate Curator of Paleomammalogy

Birds are living dinosaurs. 

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A woman holding a handwritten sign in front of a large museum display of animal skeletons.

Shannon Hackett, The Richard and Jill Chaifetz Associate Curator of Birds

Titanosaurs were the largest dinosaurs. (This femur is over 6.5 feet long.) 

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A man holding a handwritten sign, alongside two young boys, all behind a large dinosaur leg bone

Bill Simpson, Head of Geological Collections, Gantz Family Collections Center (and some helpful future paleontologists)

Whales' ancestors walked on land. 

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Man holding handwritten sign, standing in front of a museum display with a large animal skull and a painting of a whale-like animal with large teeth

Noé de la Sancha, Research Associate, Mammals

All humans are immigrants from Africa. 

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Man holding a handwritten sign, standing next to a figure of an early human relative.

Robert Martin, Emeritus Curator, Integrative Research Center

Climate change is accelerating the extinction of plants and animals. 

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Woman holding a handwritten sign, standing in a museum gallery of large animal skeletons, including one with large tusks

Laura Milkert, Ecological Stewardship Manager, Keller Science Action Center

...but we're working on it. 

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Woman holding a handwritten sign, standing in front of a mural of images from nature.

Iza Redlinski, Conservation Ecologist, Keller Science Action Center 

 

A large group of people holding many different handwritten signs, some with colorful drawings, in front of a large illustration of a T. rex

And there are more facts and strongly supported theories where those came from...a LOT more! Here are just a few: 

  • Humans are animals.
  • 2016 was the warmest year on record. 
  • T. rex has a wishbone. 
  • Mastodons lived in Chicago until about 11,000 years ago. 
  • Fungi are more closely related to animals than to plants. 
  • Chicagoland has over 20 species of native orchids. 
  • Squids swim fastest backwards. 
  • Blue whales are so large that a human could swim through their largest arteries.
  • More time has passed between T. rex and Stegosaurus than T. rex and humans.