Published: October 30, 2013

How many trees are there in the Amazon?

Nigel Pitman, Senior Conservation Ecologist, Keller Science Action Center

A couple of weeks ago some colleagues and I wrote a paper in Science reporting some new findings on Amazonian forests. Some of the findings are actually just numbers, and one of those numbers is really big. It's the number of trees we think probably grow in the Amazon, and it's 390 billion.

A couple of weeks ago some colleagues and I wrote a paper in Science reporting some new findings on Amazonian forests. Some of the findings are actually just numbers, and one of those numbers is really big. It's the number of trees we think probably grow in the Amazon, and it's 390 billion.

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Published: February 8, 2013

Antarctica Lobster Fossil

Paul Mayer, Collections Manager III, Gantz Family Collections Center

This small, broken lobster fossil Hoploparia stokesi  UC 9705 is the first fossil to be described from Antarctica and was named in honor of F. W. Stokes.  The fossil might not look like much but it has some interesting stories to tell.

This small, broken lobster fossil Hoploparia stokesi  UC 9705 is the first fossil to be described from Antarctica and was named in honor of F. W. Stokes.  The fossil might not look like much but it has some interesting stories to tell.


Paul Mayer

Paul is responsible for managing and caring for 2 million fossil invertebrate specimens.  His areas of specialty are Devonian brachiopods, Silurian Reefs and Mazon Creek fossils including the Tully Monster. Paul has done fieldwork in Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, Alberta, China, Australia, and New Zealand. 

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Published: October 26, 2012

The Man Who Mistook His Tarantula for a Hat

Katherine Webbink, Information Systems Specialist, Information Technology

Collections Assistant Jim Louderman wears many hats (some of which are tarantulas). In addition to preparing specimens for the Field Museum's Insect Collection, he collects insects and arachnids around Illinois and the central U.S., and participates in numerous public outreach programs.

Collections Assistant Jim Louderman wears many hats (some of which are tarantulas). In addition to preparing specimens for the Field Museum's Insect Collection, he collects insects and arachnids around Illinois and the central U.S., and participates in numerous public outreach programs.


Katherine Webbink

In the Technology Department, Kate works on cataloging the Field Museum's digital media--how do we preserve the digital media bits of natural history? For now, the answer here seems to involve a lot of DNGs. Going forward, digital formats and the workflows that go with them change all the time, so collections need to stay on their toes if they don't want to lose data and the ideas that go with them.

Published: August 29, 2012

New spider reminds us: it's still a big world

Nina Sandlin, Associate

It was exciting in recent days to see the news about the discovery of a new family of spiders, in a cave in Oregon. New species are found all the time, especially among the arthropods. But a new family is a big deal. It means that an animal is different in very significant ways from others of its kind, the way owls are different from other birds, or bears from other mammals. And while new families of spiders get do designated from time to time in the course of taxonomic revisions, a new spider family has not been discovered in nature since the 1890s.

Trogloraptor

It was exciting in recent days to see the news about the discovery of a new family of spiders, in a cave in Oregon. New species are found all the time, especially among the arthropods. But a new family is a big deal. It means that an animal is different in very significant ways from others of its kind, the way owls are different from other birds, or bears from other mammals. And while new families of spiders get do designated from time to time in the course of taxonomic revisions, a new spider family has not been discovered in nature since the 1890s.


Nina Sandlin

Nina created and continues to expand an online visual reference gallery that helps museum curators identify some of the most difficult spiders in North America – the minute female Linyphiidae.

Published: August 1, 2011

Fossil Carrion Feeders

The world's oldest carrion beetle fossils were found in China and represent species that were alive 165 million years ago. Follow Margaret Thayer and Chenyang Cai as they work together at the Field Museum in Chicago to yield new insights into this family of beetles, called Silphidae.

The world's oldest carrion beetle fossils were found in China and represent species that were alive 165 million years ago. Follow Margaret Thayer and Chenyang Cai as they work together at the Field Museum in Chicago to yield new insights into this family of beetles, called Silphidae.

Published: July 11, 2011

Science at FMNH : Ep. 15 - Trilobite Evolution

Approximately 515 to 495 million years ago, western Utah and eastern Nevada were covered by shallow seas.  The rock record shows that the trilobites in this area were changing as the depth of the seas increased.

Approximately 515 to 495 million years ago, western Utah and eastern Nevada were covered by shallow seas.  The rock record shows that the trilobites in this area were changing as the depth of the seas increased.

Published: July 4, 2011

Science at FMNH : Ep. 13 - The Geologic Record & Environmental Change

The environment in which we live is not static, and the 4.6 billion years of Earth history are a history of change.  Scientists in the Geology Department use cutting edge research to understand the formation of the solar system and the evolution of life on an ever-changing Earth.  

The environment in which we live is not static, and the 4.6 billion years of Earth history are a history of change.  Scientists in the Geology Department use cutting edge research to understand the formation of the solar system and the evolution of life on an ever-changing Earth.  

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Published: June 23, 2011

Walking through the public museum (chewing lice and sucking lice)

John Bates, Assoc. Curator and Section Head, Integrative Research Center

One thing about walking through the public exhibit areas is that you never know what you will overhear.  OK, sometimes you hear things you don’t want to hear, but just as often, good things get your attention.  I am not making up what I heard the other day on the way into the Fish Division. From behind me, I heard a guy say “look, chewing lice and sucking lice!” 

One thing about walking through the public exhibit areas is that you never know what you will overhear.  OK, sometimes you hear things you don’t want to hear, but just as often, good things get your attention.  I am not making up what I heard the other day on the way into the Fish Division. From behind me, I heard a guy say “look, chewing lice and sucking lice!” 

Published: June 20, 2011

How do I get rid of the pest ants in my home?

Corrie Moreau, Associate Curator & Director of Integrative Research, Integrative Research Center

Although many ants are quite beautiful and really have no interest in entering our homes, there are a few species that we call "household pests".  Depending on where you live resources to identify the particular ant species you have invading your home may or may not be possible, but knowing which species you are after can help.  

Although many ants are quite beautiful and really have no interest in entering our homes, there are a few species that we call "household pests".  Depending on where you live resources to identify the particular ant species you have invading your home may or may not be possible, but knowing which species you are after can help.  


Corrie Moreau

Robert A. Pritzker Director of the Integrative Research Center and Associate Curator in the Integrative Research Center (Insects) in the Department of Science and Education at the Field Museum of Natural History.  Corrie's research program focuses on the evolutionary history and diversification of the ants (Formicidae), ant mutualisms with plants to bacteria, biogeography, and molecular and genomic tools to tease apart these patterns.  To learn more about Corrie Moreau's research and members of the lab, please visit the lab website: www.moreaulab.org

Corrie S. Moreau cmoreau@fieldmuseum.org
Robert A. Pritzker Director of the Integrative Research Center and Associate Curator
Field Museum of Natural History
1400 South Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60605  USA

Website: www.moreaulab.org


 

 

In 2005, the 186,000 square foot Collections Resource Center was opened as a new facility for the storage of the Museum’s vast collections.  This new state-of-the-art facility was built on site, located below ground level and just south of the Museum’s historic building. It united many of the Museum’s diverse collections in a single place to provide extra space for larger anthropological and geological items and spark-proof storage for our many zoological specimens that are stored in alcohol.

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