Mmmmm. Botflies. Got a question? Give us a call! +1 (315) 367-2667 - aka 315-Em-Scoop !!! For more science stories and updates, check out our new series, 'Natural News from The Field Museum'! We're alternating that show with Brain Scoop episodes to keep things EXCITING! More info and Links! Dinosaur Discovery & Updates on Cloud Rats | Natural News from The Field Museum | Ep. 1 Read more about Botflies, Chicago Parakeets, and the Smallest Collection | Ask Emily #13
Blogs & Videos: Geology
In this week’s episode of Natural News from The Field Museum, we’ve got updates about the sex lives of peregrine falcons, mouse lemurs as time machines, and new research on the formation of our solar system!
1. Peregrine Promiscuity.
“Sex in the City: Breeding behavior of urban peregrine falcons in the Midwestern US,“ Caballero et al. PLOS One (2016) Read more about Sex Lives of Peregrine Falcons & Time Travel Discoveries | Ep. 2
What glows in the dark, is flammable, and was first discovered in human urine? While this substance may sound dangerous (and a little gross), it exists in foods we eat and in the world around us. We’re talking about phosphorus, the 13th element. Phosphorus is mainly produced in exploding massive stars, known as core-collapse supernovae. It is the 18th-most abundant element in the universe and the 13th-most abundant element in Earth’s crust. Read more about How the Hunt for the Philosopher’s Stone Led to Phosphorus
Pluto was reclassified as a dwarf planet 10 years ago today. While many grieved the loss of the ninth planet, we’re now learning more than ever about this ball of ice and its faraway neighborhood at the edge of the solar system. So, what ended Pluto’s run as a planet? The International Astronomical Union, or IAU, defines a planet by three qualities: 1. Orbits the Sun 2. Big enough for gravity to shape it into a sphere (which is called “hydrostatic equilibrium”) Read more about Learning from Pluto as a Dwarf Planet
The residents of a Chicago suburb were jolted awake just before midnight on March 26, 2003—by meteorites falling through their roofs and windows. The Park Forest meteorite, named for the area at the center of the shower, fell in one of the most heavily populated areas to see meteorites in recent history. Read more about A Breakup with Lasting Impact: Meteorites from a 470-Million-Year-Old Split
An episode about deadly rocks! Really, it's about some minerals which may contain harmful elements that through the repeated, ongoing, and/or prolonged exposure to them in unregulated environments may cause damage over time... but that doesn't fit in the title. Read more about Death Rocks
A lot of ink was spilled around the Grateful Dead concerts on the Museum campus last month, but none of the stories I read mentioned the one really indispensable detail—so I figure I'll air it here. Read more about A Diorama for Jerry's Guitar
Two hundred and fifty-two million years ago, huge volcanic eruptions triggered a mass extinction bigger than the one that ended the dinosaurs, changing life on earth forever. Field Museum scientist Ken Angielczyk and his colleagues are now studying this event, the Permian-Triassic Extinction, to learn about how communities bounce back after falling apart. And one newly discovered ancient mammal relative is helping them get closer to their answers—meet “Scarface.” Read more about “Scarface”: The Dachshund-sized Pre-mammal with a (Possibly) Venomous Bite
Invertebrate paleontologists aren’t afraid of anything, so when Collections Manager Paul Mayer was offered a chance to add hundreds of monsters to The Field’s collections, he jumped at the opportunity. The monsters in question, Tully monsters, are just a small part of the enormous donation of Thomas V. Testa’s collection of Mazon Creek fossils that The Field Museum just received from Field Associate Jack Wittry. Read more about Monsters Storm The Field
Not every part of the rainforest is filled with towering canopies! We discovered an area with trees only twice my height, and it took a couple of geologists to help us figure out why. Read more about Jungle Atop A Desert