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

Sitting lion with a large mane.

Lion mane linked to climate

If you were a male lion and could read the latest scientific research, you would want to move to a warmer climate, where your mane would be more impressive. That is, until it started getting smaller, to fit you to your new warmer climate! It's long been known that lions with long, full manes get the girls. Now, an innovative study based on zoo animals all across America shows for the first time that cold temperatures help the king of the beast grow his mane long and thick, and more appealing to potential mates.

Brood Parasitism -- Host Lists

Brood parasitism is an awkward term to describe an interaction between two species in which, as in predator-prey relationships, one species gains at the expense of the other. Brood parasites "prey" upon parental care, and the victimized species usually have reduced breeding success, partly because of the additional cost of caring for alien eggs and young, and partly because of the behavior of both adult and young brood parasites which may directly and adversely affect the survival of the victim's own eggs or young.

Camiguin Hanging-Parrot: a new species from a small Philippine Island

One thing that makes museum collections so valuable is that they bring together specimens from throughout the distributions of species. When comparative series of specimens are available, it becomes possible to see if differences between populations are greater than than what is found within the populations being studied. The Field Museum's Bird Division has outstanding collections of Philippine birds made by D. S. Rabor and is colleagues in  the 1960s.

Recently acquired ectoparasites

In September, following the 2nd Peruvian Mammal Congress, a group of us--headed by Dr. Horacio Zeballos and members of his lab at Univ. San Agustin in Arequipa, headed to the Pacific Coast to sample lomas formations near Atiquipa.  During three nights there, we caught representatives of two highly endemic bats restricted to the arid Western Slope of the Andes, the nectar-feeder Platalina and the insect-eating Amorphochilus.

Darwin and museum collections

We study the evolution of birds, so when we go into our son’s seventh grade science classroom and they are going to be studying biological diversity, but the word “evolution” does not appear in the room because the word is not an accepted term in the state curriculum standards, we realize there is still a lot of work to be done to get us beyond debates over evolution even in a state like Illinois.  To us, evolution is the fundamental basis of biology, but it is also a fun thing to think about.

Science Action publishes comic book on fishing and environment

In August 2010 the Science Action Center published Grab This Fish Tale, a comic book based on ethnographic research conducted by anthropologist Mario Longoni and US Forest Service researchers Lynne Westphal and Cherie Fisher about angling and fish consumption practices that are healthy and good for the environment. The research was funded by the US Forest Service. The comic book was funded by the US Forest Service and the Donnelley Foundation. 

Telling Our Stories: Creating Green Communities

Through “Telling Our Stories: Creating Green Communities,” funded by the Comer Foundation, our urban anthropologists worked with a professional storytelling team to train member organizations of the Chicago Cultural Alliance and the Energy Action Network to collect, document, and analyze community stories about environmentally-friendly practices, traditions, and values. The stories were used as data for studies commissioned by the City of Chicago Department of Environment to identify strategies for engaging communities in implementing the Chicago Climate Action Plan (CCAP).