Behind the scenes at the Field Museum in Chicago

Field_BehindScenes_600

A slide show of short, fascinating video of some of the specimens that will never make it out onto the Field's display floor - but that might be crucial to a discovery 500 years from now. Click through and enjoy.

 

Behind the Scenes at the Field Museum

Recently, Chicago Parent went to the Field Museum, where Bill Stanley, the museum's collection manager for mammals, took us on a tour of flesh eating beetles, and centuries old elephants and flying squirrels. We were amazed by the broad reach of the Field Museum collection.

"The bird collection here was used to figure out why Captain Sullenberger had to put down his plane in the Hudson River a few years ago. They had to figure out what type of bird it was and whether that bird was resident or migrant," Stanley says. "They had to take DNA from the specimens here to answer that question."

Each slide below has a short, fascinating video of some of the specimens that will never make it out onto the Field's display floor - but that might be crucial to a discovery 500 years from now. Click through and enjoy.

Video recording and editing by: Kevin McCarey and Corey McCarey
With contributions by: Liz DeCarlo

 

Behind the Scenes at the Field Museum - <strong>Research</strong>

The Field Museum is an incredible place to teach kids about the science of natural history, but did you know scientists come from all over the world to study the thousands of specimens the public never gets to see?

Recently, Bill Stanley, the Field's collection manager for the division of mammals, gave Chicago Parent a behind-the-scenes look at the museum's mammal specimen collections and how something like a chipmunk can go from roadkill to research participant.

 

 

Behind the Scenes at the Field Museum - <strong>Flesh Eating Beetles</strong>

Two sets of doors protect the Field Museum's collections from the home of the Dermestid Beetle Colony. These small black bugs feast on rotting carcasses, but leave behind perfectly cleaned skeletons-exactly what the Field needs.

 

 

Behind the Scenes at the Field Museum - <strong>The Catalogue Room</strong>

"We want this speciman to be just like this 500 years from now."

Now, cataloguing is done digitally, but the museum still has logs from as long as 100 years ago.

"Now we can get DNA from little snips of skin-a square millimeter-from specimens collected in Oklahoma Indian territory in the 1800s. The person who collected the specimens and preserved them had no idea what DNA was or what it could be used for," Stanley says.

 

 

Behind the Scenes at the Field Museum - <strong>Elephant Jaws</strong>

After doing this story, I am able to add "held elephant's jaw" to my list of accomplishments. It's heavy. And really cool. It also answers questions about how stories about mythical creatures come to be.

 

 

Behind the Scenes at the Field Museum - <strong>Exploring the Catacombs </strong>

Did you know that the flying squirrels we have in Chicago are different than flying squirrels found in Africa? Did you know we have flying squirrels in Chicago? Take a look at these specimens.

 

 

Behind the Scenes at the Field Museum - <strong>Stoking Your Passion</strong>

Bill Stanley's advice for life? Do what you're passionate about, and find a mentor. This is his story.

 

 
 
 







 
 
 
Copyright 2014 Wednesday Journal Inc. All rights reserved. Chicago web development by liQuidprint