Blogs & Videos: Fossils

A spiral shell-like fossil next to apples and oranges

A Thanksgiving Tale of Two Horns

Paul Mayer is a collections manager of fossil invertebrates. What do Thanksgiving and a fossil ammonite have in common?  In ancient times, the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans associated the coiled horns of rams with gods, power, virility, fertility, and abundance. The cornucopia—a conical wicker basket with a never-ending supply of food flowing from it—comes from Latin cornu copiae or “horn of plenty.” The Greeks and Romans both used the cornucopia as a symbol of the harvest, prosperity, and abundance.

Eight of the Most Nightmarish Prehistoric Animals

There's been life on earth for about four billion years, and a lot of it has been freaking terrifying. Great job, evolution, we’ll all be having bad dreams tonight. 1. Basilosaurus basilosaurus.png © The Field Museum, GEO86500_166d, Photographer Karen Carr, artist.

Three carved pumpkins: one with a dinosaur skull design, one with two elephants, and one with a lion.

Pumpkin Stencils: SUE, Fighting African Elephants, and a Tsavo Lion

For Halloween, give your pumpkins some natural history flair with these stencils inspired by famous Field Museum specimens. To create your pumpkin design, download and print a stencil, then cut out the yellow areas. Show us your handiwork on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook

An artist's rendering of an prehistoric carnivore called a beardog, with it's mouth open reaching for an insect.

Chihuahua-sized fossil "beardogs" shed new light on evolution of dogs and their relatives

Fossil discoveries don’t always happen out in the field, with scientists armed with pick-axes realizing they’ve found something special. Sometimes, fossils lie in wait in museum collections until the right researcher comes along and realizes there’s something unusual about them. That’s what happened this time, and the fossils in question are prehistoric dog relatives called “beardogs.”

Fossil skeleton of SUE the T. rex

SUE Lends a Hand: Field Museum Scientists Remove T. rex’s Arm for Argonne Study

Two Field Museum scientists are leaving their labs and going face-to-face with SUE, the biggest Tyrannosaurus rex ever discovered, armed only with a wrench. And they’re going to take her arm off. SUE’s not just the world’s biggest T. rex—she’s also the best-preserved and most complete one. And that means that she contains a treasure trove of information for paleontologists to learn from.

Ask A Curator: Q&A With Paleobiologist Ken Angielczyk

Being a curator at a natural history museum can include many different areas of work, from doing research and studying collections, to field work and training future scientists. Dr. Ken Angielczyk, an associate curator and paleobiologist at The Field Museum, shares some of the unique aspects of his work. Ask @FieldMuseum all your natural history and science questions on Wednesday, September 14, for #AskACurator Day! What does being a curator mean to you?

Photo of dinosaur skeleton

How well do you know SUE?

The towering Tyrannosaurus rex that greets visitors at The Field Museum is hard to miss. But how well do you really know SUE? To celebrate SUE’s Unearth Day on August 12, the date she was discovered, we’re brushing up on some essential facts: Who is SUE? Even though we refer to SUE as a “she,” it is unknown whether this T. rex was female or male. We know that this carnivorous dinosaur lived about 67 million years ago and probably weighed nine tons during its life.

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