Two hundred years ago, over 60,000 tigers lived in India. This figure has since decreased by 90 percent. Today, fewer than 3,500 tigers remain in the wild, and only seven percent of the historic tiger habitat remains. These habitats, mostly scattered across India, are becoming increasingly isolated as the country continues to urbanize. Dr. Uma Ramakrishnan, a population geneticist and biodiversity ecologist at India's National Centre for Biological Sciences, uses genetic information from tigers and landscape modeling of India to help curtail this disturbing trend. Read more about Putting Together the Pieces to Prevent Tiger Extinction
Blogs & Videos: Mammals
Cue up the Marvin Gaye—we’ve got everything from moonwalking birds to snails shooting “love darts,” all in the name of keeping their species going. It’s Valentine’s Day, Field Museum style. Read more about The Birds and the Bees: The Seven Craziest Animal Mating Stories
In 1896, taxidermist Carl Akeley ventured to Somalia on a research expedition with Field Museum scientists, and procured a quartet of striped hyenas (among many other things). For more than six decades, these taxidermied mounts sat in an unfinished diorama case - and we wanted to do something about it! Read more about Carl Akeley's Striped Hyenas
Last year, The Brain Scoop kicked off Project Hyena Diorama, an Indiegogo campaign aimed at raising the funds necessary to build a brand new permanent habitat diorama at The Field Museum that would house a quartet of striped hyenas taxidermied by Carl Akeley in 1896. In six weeks we raised 91% of the funds thanks to Brain Scoop and museum fans from all over the world, and so began the long process of research and construction. The diorama will be officially open to the public on January 27th, 2016!
Read more about Painting the Diorama
Our ability to use today's technology in unique and novel ways is a major part of scientific discovery. In this episode, Dr. Stephanie Pierce shows us how she uses 3D modeling software to experiment on the bones of animals that went extinct millions of years ago, in order to figure out how they moved and walked.
Read more about Bending Fossils: Experiments In Paleontology (Harvard Adventures, Part 3)
Paleontologists today look at more than just fossil evidence to learn about organisms that lived millions of years ago. For this episode we visited Dr. Katrina Jones at Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology to learn how she dissects and examines animals living today in the search for answers about the movements and evolution of early synapsids!
Read more about Fisher Dissection: Harvard Adventures, Part 2
Paleontologists today look at more than just fossil evidence to learn about organisms that lived millions of years ago. In this case, we're seeking to answer the question: how, and when, did mammals evolve their specialized movements? Turns out, the next step in this process involves dissecting a giant weasel. This is part one in a three-part series supported in part by The Field Museum, the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University, and The National Science Foundation (!!!!). Read more about The Origin of Mammal Movement: Harvard Adventures, Part I
Yes, Halloween's all about things that go bump in the night, but at The Field Museum, we're also all about seeing the beauty (and yes, the cuteness) in the natural world. Here are some of our favorite animals that get a bad rap but are actually pretty gosh-darn adorable. 1. Honduran White Bats Read more about Six adorable Halloween animals that will make you re-evaluate your ideas of “scary”
The Field Museum is home to about 30 million objects—including a handful of super creepy ones. Here are some of our favorites that walk the line between scientifically valuable and downright horrifying. 1. Freezers full of dead animals deer_head.jpg Read more about Eight behind-the-scenes specimens that will haunt your dreams
At tea parties, etiquette is key. You need to know which spoon to use, whether to pour the milk or the tea first, and, when a fellow scientist hands you an owl pellet for your research, how to graciously accept it and dissect it right there at the table. Field Museum collections manager Bill Stanley was at a garden tea party in Tanzania when a colleague handed him a coffee can containing an owl pellet for him to study. The hacked-up mass of fur and bones contained the key to a scientific discovery—the skull of a rat never before seen in the region. Read more about Tea Parties, Bird Barf, and Rat Skulls