Blogs & Videos: Fossils

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.

What Do We Mean When We Talk About Facts in Science?

The use of the words “fact”, “hypothesis”, and “theory” in science can be confusing, especially if conducting research isn’t your everyday job! But these terms have specific meanings, and they’re part of an important process that scientists use to gather information about the world around us. First, some quick definitions—here’s how scientists at The Field Museum (and around the world) use these terms:

Three dinosaur skeletons with different horns on their heads, lined up in an exhibition

How Did Dinosaurs Woo Their Mates?

We’re confident dinosaurs didn't attract their mates with flowers and chocolates, but it’s hard to say for sure what DID go down. Once you look past the commercialism, Valentine’s Day boils down to the irrepressible natural forces of affection and desire. Underlying these forces is our drive to reproduce—so it may be timely to ask what we know about dinosaur reproduction.

2016 By The Numbers

It's been an exciting year here at The Field Museum: we explored nature and culture all around the globe, continued making discoveries within our collections, and invited visitors to learn with us. To stay in touch and see what we're up to in 2017, sign up for our newsletter at fieldmuseum.org/newsletter and become a member at fieldmuseum.org/membership.  

Top 10 Science, Nature, and Culture Stories of 2016

Need a break from the holiday madness? Curl up with our 10 most-read blog posts of the year for a brain refresh (plus, some fun science facts to share with your visiting in-laws or your New Year’s Eve party guests). From Tully monsters to SUE’s missing arm to local birds, plants, and culture, it’s been a wild ride. Thanks for joining us on these adventures and discoveries, and stay curious with us in 2017!

Two large dinosaurs, one wearing a Cubs jersey

Why We Don’t Dress Up SUE (Or Any Other Real Skeletons)

Lucille Carver is the Social Media Strategist at The Field Museum. Bill Simpson, Collection Manager, Fossil Vertebrates, contributed to this post. Here at The Field Museum, we often show our Chicago pride by outfitting our Brachiosaurus plastic mounted skeleton on the west side of the building with an oversized team jersey. Whenever we do this, it creates a flurry of questions and comments about why we don’t do this with SUE, too. Here’s why you won’t see SUE decked out in festive attire. 

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.

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