Fossil Sharks

– The fossil sharks are hiding today. – But look! A fossil shark clue! – This is the tooth of the Carcharocles megalodon, or better known as the Megalodon shark. These unfathomably large predatory giants swam in our oceans from about 52 million to 2 million years ago. Based off of the large size of […]

An Electric Eel and a Caiman

:introduction jingle: :sloshing water and bird sounds as gentle orchestra music plays in the background: So, we’re out here with Maria and Isabel. And, they’re Icthyologists, and we’re going to go fishing. They have this net. Where they sweep the net through the deeper parts of the water. And, try to get the fish to […]

Fossil Fish, PT. III: The Preparation

Hey, we’re here back at The Field Museum with Akiko, who is the Fossil Preparator. – Yep! – And we are going to be working on some of the fish that we excavated from Wyoming. What’s next? So what kind of tools and things are necessary to prepare a fossil? – Well, you’re holding the […]

Aliens? Demon? Nope, it’s just a fish. [60 Second Specimens]

Guadalajara, Mexico, 1953. During a break from his expedition collecting insects, Field Museum research associate Dr. Charles H. Seevers was perusing an antique store when he came across a most unusual specimen. It was this alien-looking creature, with sunken eyes, a protruding mouth and horns, and a long, barbed tail. Is it a demon baby, […]

A World Without Microbes: An Apocalyptic Thought Experiment | I Contain Multitudes

[MUSIC PLAYING] ED YONG: Imagine wiping out every microbe on Earth, every bacteria, every germ. I’ve done that. That is Professor Jack Gilbert from the University of Chicago. Catastrophic ideas are exciting. Everyone loves a disaster movie. ED: This summer– JACK GILBERT: As a microbe guy, you’ll like this movie. ED: In a world without […]

In Search of Fossil Fish

Welcome to Fossil Lake! The area I’m standing in right now is the largest and most complete representation of early Eocene life in the world, about 52 million years old. This area, during the early Eocene, was a lot like what modern Florida is today. You had crocodilians, you had paddlefish, all different kinds of […]

Squirrel McNastyface

*Emily and Anna sing The Brain Scoop theme* Coming to you from the basement of The Field Museum in front of a live studio audience: Anna Goldman, and Emily Graslie! Yay! – Hi! This is the grossest thing I’ve ever seen! I mean, he does not look like most of the other squirrels that we […]

How to Make a Superbug, and an Even More Super-Collider!

Southern California has had it rough lately. A couple of weeks ago, we told you about the measles outbreak that started there, and now Los Angeles seems to have spawned a whole new kind of outbreak. A superbug. Or, at least, that’s what the media have been calling it — a bacterium that’s killed two […]

Clearing and Staining Fishes

So we’re here with Dr. Caleb McMahan, who is the collection manager of Fishes here at the Field Museum, and today we’re going to be talking about clearing and staining. What is clearing and staining? Caleb: So, clearing and staining is a process where we take an entire specimen and we clear that specimen down […]