Blogs & Videos: Fossils

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.

Photo of dinosaur skeleton

How well do you know SUE?

The towering Tyrannosaurus rex is a familiar face at the Museum. But how well do you really know SUE? Brush 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.

Illustrations of a glyptodont (large armadillo-like animal) and a spotted ironclad beetle

Extreme Animals Competition: Glyptodont v. Ironclad Beetle

In the Extreme Animals Competition, we’re looking at some of the fastest, fiercest, and strongest members of the animal kingdom. In the Armored Defenders category, the extinct glyptodont and the extant ironclad beetle are known for their built-in body armor. Glyptodont: Walking suit of armor Vital stats: 

An artist's rendering of a small dinosaur being chased through a field by two larger dinosaurs, while two other small dinosaurs run away in the background.

Newly-discovered dinosaur had “T. rex arms” that evolved independently

Scientists still aren’t sure why T. rex had those absurdly small forelimbs, but apparently the look was all the rage in the Late Cretaceous. A newly-discovered dinosaur from Patagonia has similar short, two-fingered claws, even though it’s not closely related to the tyrannosaurs.

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