Blogs & Videos: Fossils

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.

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.”

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