Revisiting eggshells, DDT, collections, and study design

On tours of our collections, we want to give visitors an appreciation for the important diversity of ways in which collections can and have been used to do important science and conservation. One of the best known and frequently recounted examples involves 1960's pesticide use in relation to declines in birds of prey including Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus). This story is based on research that is often described with a focus on Peregrines.

Born from the Ashes

You know that part in Game of Thrones where the dragon eggs hatch when they’re put in fire? This is like that, but with a super-endangered flower. Illinois’s only native wildflower, the Kankakee mallow, has been missing from this state for years—it was presumed extinct in its native habitat. But this year, Field Museum scientists and volunteers from the Friends of Langham Island group were able to bring it back. Their secret? Setting fire to the ground where the plants once lived.

Science at FMNH : Ep. 44 - African Paleontology

The Permian and Triassic periods (approximately 299 to199 million years ago) are critical times in Earth history. Among the many important events that occurred during this interval is the largest mass extinction in Earth history. In 2009, Dr. Ken Angielczyk and an international team of scientists explored for and excavated fossils throughout Zambia to gain new insight into the causes of and recovery from the end-Permian mass extinction in terrestrial vertebrate-dominated communities.

Video: The Tully Monster

The fossil invertebrate collection at The Field Museum holds some amazing specimens of the Tully Monster (Tullimonstrum gregarium). These rare fossils were first discovered by an amateur fossil collector and it still remains a mystery what type of animal it is. Join Collections Manager Paul Mayer as he tells this fascinating story and get a glimpse of what the Tully Monster may have looked like.

Science at FMNH : Ep. 19 - Antarctic Paleontology

255 million years ago all seven continents formed one super continent called Pangaea.  During this time, Antarctica was not a harsh snow and ice covered land, but a lush temperate environment teaming with plant and animal life.  Dr. Peter Makovicky and Dr. Nathan Smith in the Geology Department excavate and study the fossil remains of dinosaurs that lived here to better understand the evolution of life on Earth.

Science at FMNH : Ep. 17 - Wyoming 52 million years ago

52 million years ago Wyoming was a tropical forest. A lake bed from this tropical environment formed one of the world’s most productive fresh water fossil locations.  Over the past 30 years, Dr. Lance Grande has unearthed fossil fish, birds, plants, and reptiles from this area, and studied their implications for the evolution of many species alive today.

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