Blogs & Videos: Imaging and Scanning

Monsters Storm The Field

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.  

Field Museum Intern Hannah Ranft takes a stab at revising New Zealand lichens

Macrolichens in the family Lobariaceae are among the most conspicuous and charismatic lichens on the planet, due to their often large, colorful thalli and their ecological importance and potential uses. Many species have cyanobacterial photobionts and are capable of fixing atmospheric nitrogen, hence acting as biological fertilizers. Lobariaceae are also good indicators of environmental health and the conservation status of forest ecosystems. Species such as Lobaria pulmonaria have been used in homoeopathic medicine.

Through thick and thin! Stabilizing the Plaster on Minirdis’ Coffin

After cleaning, the first part of Minirdis’ burial equipment that we treated was his coffin.  The coffin was constructed of wood panels joined with wood dowels. A layer of an orange colored plaster like material had been applied over the wood to fill gaps between the wood panels and provide a smooth surface. On top of the plaster layer, the coffin had been painted black with red and yellow decoration.

Field Museum Women in Science (FMWIS) Internships 2014 -- Hannah Davis

Learn more about FMWIS intern Hannah Davis, and project, "Walking Lichens" and her main supervisors were Jim Boone and Robert Luecking, with subsequent supervisors being Allie Stone and Kelsey Keaton. She mainly worked in the Insect Collection, which holds over four-and-a-half million specimens. Hannah sifted through drawers of Praying Mantids, Katydids, Grasshoppers, Treehoppers, Walking Sticks, and Moths, looking for species which mimicked lichen. Her "mini-collection" consisted of 106 specimens belonging to 88 unique species. 

A Summer Fling

Medieval weaponry and youth outreach don’t often appear in the same sentence, much less the same room. Fortunately, thanks to a recent partnership between the Exhibitions Shop and the Digital Media Learning Program, area high schoolers had a chance to design and build their own catapults! Together, they applied many of the same techniques used for the Biomechanics show to realize their own innovations.

Mummies and Cheetahs, in 3D!

Contrary to the image of mummies portrayed by the popular Scooby-Doo cartoon, mummies are not monsters, capable of smashing through walls; in fact, most mummies are too fragile even to stand on end. Egyptian mummies are embalmed lying on their back, and so fit easily into a medical CT scanner, which looks a bit like a spaceship with a table for the patient that slides through a hole in the middle of the machine. Peruvian mummies are a different story, though, since they were buried crouching – the larger examples won’t fit through the hole.

The Future of DNA Investigations at The Field Museum

  The glass windows that enclose The Field Museum’s Pritzker Laboratory on the second floor of the museum give visitors a glimpse into the daily lives of the scientists, students, and interns that work there.  Now, visitors can also get a glimpse of the future – a new DNA sequencer has arrived, and its users are busy enjoying its capabilities!

2014 REU Intern Anne Gibbons

Hairy legs in the Nursery

ANNE GIBBONS Junior Environmental Studies major at University of Michigan - Ann Arbor REU Mentors: Dr. Petra Sierwald (Curator, Arachnida and Myriapoda, S&E) and Dr. Estevam da Silva (Postdoctoral Researcher, Arachnida and Myriapoda, S&E) Symposium Presentation Title: Fishing around the world: spiders of the genus Dolomedes