Blogs & Videos

Every day at The Field Museum we're exploring something new, whether it's hidden deep in our collections or being investigated out in the field. Tune in to our blogs and videos to learn about breakthrough discoveries firsthand from our Field Museum scientists, discover curiosities in our vaults with Emily Graslie, or see how our science is making an impact in the world around you.

Recent Blog Posts

Tracing the Paleogeographical History of Hawaii

One way to trace the paleographical history of a landmass or archipelago is the reconstruction of the phylogeny of its organisms, by means of DNA sequence analysis. For example, if the closest living relatives of a group of species found on the Galapagos Islands occur in Peru, it can be assumed that for these group of organisms, colonization took place from somewhere in central western South America. This might vary between groups of organisms, since each group has different means of dispersal and mobility. 

Lasers, Ceramics, and Numbers

February 14 through February 17 I used the Laser Ablation-Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) at the Elemental Analysis Lab to source decorated earthenware from the prehispanic site of Tanjay on Negros Island, Philippines.  This research will address the debate on the importance of craft specialization to the development of pre-modern complex societies and elucidate exchange networks for prestige goods in prehispanic Southeast Asia.  

Collecting Deep-Sea Fishes and Invertebrates

An Issacs-Kidd Midwater Trawl being brought on board the Research Vessel Robert Gordon Sproul off the coast of California. This trawl was made by a team of ichthyologists and invertebrate zoologists from The Field Museum that were sampling from the midwater (open ocean) at a depth range of 3,500 feet to the surface. The movie is sped up as the trawl is coming in, and then slows down to the real time as the cod end (the end of the net) is opened up to show what was collected. The trawl is full of a diversity of red and brown crustaceans (mysid shrimp, krill, etc.) and silver hatchetfishes and smoothtongues and black lanternfishes and bigscales.

A special issue of Phytotaxa dedicated to Bryophytes: The closest living relatives of early land plants

The compilation of the volume can be attributed to a community effort and the high quality of papers is the product of all those who participated as reviewers, contributors and editorial support. In preparing for the volume, it became evident that the study of liverworts, hornworts, and mosses remains strong and has a healthy future as evidenced by contributions from senior scientists, post-doctoral researchers and doctoral students. We include 13 scientific papers from 35 authors. 

Man-eating lions ate fewer people than believed

Legendary "man-eating" lions of Tsavo likely ate about 35 peoplenot 135in notorious attacks SANTA CRUZ, CA--The legendary "man-eating lions of Tsavo" that terrorized a railroad camp in Kenya more than a century ago likely consumed about 35 people--far fewer than popular estimates of 135 victims, according to a new analysis by researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz. The study also yields surprises about the predatory behavior of lions.

Scientists discover striking new species of cloud-forest rodent in Peru

A strikingly unusual animal was recently described from the cloud-forests of Peru. The large rodent is about the size of a squirrel and looks a bit like one, except its closest relatives are spiny rats.  The nocturnal, climbing rodent is beautiful yet strange looking, with long dense fur, a broad blocky head, and thickly furred tail. A blackish crest of fur on the crown, nape and shoulders add to its distinctive appearance.