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Found 12 results

  1. Ricky’s Field Museum prep

    Hey everybody! I realized I never made a thread for my internship at the Field Museum in Chicago this summer. I interned as a fossil preparator under Akiko Shinya in the McDonald’s Fossil Preparation Laboratory (that’s the “fish bowl” lab on the second floor right next to Evolving Planet with the big window). There were some amazing things being prepared in the lab - an Antarctic Lystrosaurus, lots of Dicynodonts, Green River fish (some massive Phareodus), Sauropod femurs and ribs, a massive slab containing several sturgeon and paddlefish - but I’m not sure if I am allowed to post pictures of them, so for the sake of confidentiality I won’t just in case. This is the lab, and I always sat in the red chair, right up next to the window. One of my favorite parts of this internship was seeing all the little kids so excited about what we were doing in there and interacting with them. I was preparing a Priscacara serrata (specimen PF 16961) from the Green River formation of Wyoming, Eocene (~52 mya). All I used was a pin vise and an Amscope stereoscope. This fish also seemed to have slightly “exploded” from the pressure of fossilization as well, it’s jaw was crooked and head smashed, thought most fins seemed surprisingly well intact. The prep took 199.5 hours to complete, from May to August. I finished the prep on the final day of my internship, staying late after the museum had closed to the public and all the others in the lab had gone home. But it was far worth it, because "your name will forever be associated with this specimen." -Akiko Shinya I took a picture at the end of every day and I made a time lapse with it to see the growth! The link is at the bottom of the post. (I kept that floating scale in front of its mouth because I thought it was kind of funny that it looked like the fish was trying to eat it!) You can watch the time lapse Here
  2. I just visited Field Museum in Chicago for the Member’s Nights, and I made sure to take pictures to share! During Member’s Night you’re allowed into the bowels of the museum where non-displayed items are held, along with several fun and interesting mini-exhibit/activities/booths. On the third floor, many of the paleontology department were displaying their personal favorite fossils! These next few will be from there.
  3. Fossils in Chicago?

    Hi all! Well, I'm excited to say that my husband and I will be traveling to Chicago for a weekend in April - yay!!! I'll be on my own on Saturday, April 13 while he attends Star Wars Celebration. He suggested that I go for spa treatments, but I said that there are better ways for me to spend the day - I can get spa treatments anywhere, but this will be my first time in Chicago!!! So, I was wondering, is there any chance of finding fossils in the city, perhaps somewhere along the lake shore? And if not, are there any other suggestions for what I can do to pass the morning/afternoon while my husband is nerding out at the convention? Thanks for your help! Monica
  4. Recently went in a trip to the Field Museum in Chicago where they had two new exhibits showcased: Antarctica dinosaurs and their new dinosaur, Patagotitan. Here are some pictures of the insanely massive sauropod nicknamed Maximo. This skeleton is just a replica, however they do have a few authentic bones on display: In the pictures you may also notice a life-size Quetzolacanthus hovering in the corner.
  5. ...for the Field Museum in Chicago is an impressively large completely cast model of a huge titanosaur. You may remember seeing the David Attenborough BBC documentary back in 2016 called David Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur (allusions to James and the Giant Peach?) The special covers the discovery, reconstruction and display of a new species named Patagotitan mayorum, a 37 meter long beast (not surprisingly) from the Patagonia region of Argentina. Bones from several individuals were found at the site and it seems that the Field Museum must have purchased a few actual bones to be displayed alongside of the cast model. The cast was made by the same company that created one for the American Museum of Natural History in New York. There, the giant titanosaur is apparently a bit too big for its home in the AMNH and had to be carefully configured to fit into the available space. The main central area with in the Field Museum, known as Stanley Field Hall, has plenty of space for this new cast to stretch out into without feeling cramped. This 122 foot long cast at the Field Museum has been named "Máximo" in reference to it's Argentinian heritage. This space was previously occupied by Sue the (in)famous Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton which was the talk of the town when it finally debuted back in 2000 (10 years after its initial discovery). Sue is moving to her own room up on the upper floor of the museum in an exhibit to open sometime in 2019. They will be making some anatomical changes and modifying the mount to show Sue in a less crouching pose. Unlike Sue (which was a relatively complete skeleton), Máximo is 100% cast. Due to the weight restrictions limiting mounting options, Sue's head was removed (ouch!) and replaced with a properly inflated head cast on the mount that was mostly otherwise composed of actual bones. Sue's head a bit crushed on one side was originally presented in a separate display where visitors could get a closer look at the actual bones. Since this titanosaur will not feature any actual precious bones, the museum is looking at making the cast more accessible (i.e. "touchable") with a ground level display rather than a raised and cordoned-off display stand. This will inevitably lead to a rash of titano-selfies in the coming months. When we visited, the mount had just been completed and whatever stand will go with the completed display had not yet been added. The few actual bones were on a simple display showing approximate placements that was tucked into a forlorn looking corner next to the full cast model. As this work had just recently been completed the new additions did not have the informational displays that will likely accompany this new exhibit in the coming months as the dust settles on this dinosaurian swap-out. The way they mounted the next of this huge titanosaur has it peering into the second floor balcony some 28 feet above. This was intentionally done to give people a close-up look at Máximo tooth-studded "smiling" face. I'm sure people will be hanging over the balcony edge for selfies from this angle. They've already tried to head this off by putting warnings on the ledge at this point cautioning against sitting, standing or leaning out over the ledge but I'm sure it is only a matter of time before someone puts themselves in the running for a Darwin Award for their selfie attempt. I have mixed feelings about this recent Sue-swap which was done this year to coincide with the museum's 125th anniversary. Maybe I'm a purist but I tend to like dinosaur mounts that are (at least partially) composed of actual bones. Understandably, it tends not to be possible to have 100% real fossil bone displays (even from a composite of multiple individuals) but the fact that Máximo is simply the second in a (limited) series of entirely cast bones makes me have to appreciate the display as an (expensive) model rather than as a rare well-preserved actual fossils. The fact that Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk could (conceivably) commission additional copies for their closest friends as ostentatious Christmas gifts this year somehow puts Máximo in a different class in my mind from Sue--maybe it's just me. The non-unique and reproducible nature of Máximo's cast does however allow people to interact more personally with this new huge dinosaur in a way different from the more isolated reverence of Sue's exhibit. I just hope people take away more than just silly selfies from their interaction with Máximo. Here are a few photos of Máximo in his new home. You can see how the mount was staged to allow the perspective from the upper level balcony. You might recognize someone in the second photo who was told that he needed to pose for a selfie with Máximo's left front leg. I've also included photos of the few actual bones which will hopefully receive some interest as well once they are more properly displayed. Cheers. -Ken
  6. Currently up in the Chicago area visiting with family and getting ready to start a bucket-list trip out to Iceland for a couple of weeks. While driving through downtown Chicago along Lake Shore Drive we passed the Field Museum of Natural History which was one of my favorite haunts when I lived in Chicago when I was younger. I noticed the banners for Máximo the new Patagonian titanosaur (Patagotitan mayorum) which displaced Sue the T-rex from the main floor to her own room in the upper floor of the museum. I decided that it had been years since I'd visited the Field Museum and I needed to make the pilgrimage for my birthday. I'll try to make a post a bit later with a few of the photos that I took during the visit. So much to see and I only went for part of a day to see some of the fossil and mineral exhibits. I noticed one of several "MOLD-A-RAMA" plastic injection molding machines strategically located around the museum. These were a favorite souvenir as a kid (I think I had all of the various shapes). I spotted the one with the Apatosaurus in a Kelly green reminiscent of the old Sinclair dinosaur (named 'Dino' and pronounced 'DYE-no'). https://www.sinclairoil.com/dino-history I decided it was worth the three bucks to buy myself a birthday present and so I swiped my credit card (a modern retrofit of this machine dating from the early 1960's when it cost but a quarter) and in moments produced my very own mini-Apatosaurus. The novelty being that I probably had one of these made on this very same machine when I was a kid--likely some 40-45 years ago. I think this is one of my favorite birthday presents I've had for some time (even if I had to buy it for myself). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mold-A-Rama http://mold-a-rama.com/ The more things change, the more some things stay the same--it's nice to have a small speck of constancy in this modern world were progress dooms the latest inventions and must-have items to a short lifespan sometimes measured in months. The MOLD-A-RAMA looks to have enjoyed only a rather regional bit of popularity but I hope this may bring back a bit of nostalgia to some TFF members from the area. Cheers. -Ken
  7. Maximo the Titanosaur

    The Field Museum has revealed the name of the new titanosaur that is being installed in Stanley Field Hall in the next few weeks. His scientific name is Patagotitan mayorum. He lived about 100 million years ago in what is now Patagonia, Argentina. The spanish word maximo translates to "maximum" or "most" in English. This name references his massive size! The largest dinosaur ever discovered is on his way to the Field Museum and we can't wait for you to meet him. Our giant pre-historic friend, Máximo the Titanosaur, will make his debut at the museum this June. This tremendous titan weighed about 70 tons, roughly as much as 10 African elephants. Máximo is about 122 feet in length. To put that in Chicago terms, he’s as long as two accordion CTA buses. Máximo’s head will reach the second-story balcony, perfect for selfies! https://www.fieldmuseum.org/about/press/biggest-dinosaur-ever-discovered-coming-field-museum-2018-thanks-gift-kenneth-c-griffin
  8. Air scribe question

    I’m looking at getting my first Air scribe. There’s the obvious choice of Kens, although they are rather expensive, the second choice is the Chicago cp9361. It’s cheaper from a local tool supplier but wanting know if anybody uses it and can vouch for it, just don’t want to go spending without the information. Any help would be seriously appreciated. Thanks, Dan.
  9. Today I went with the Grandkid to the Field Museum of Natural History to see Jurassic World and check out some of their fossils- Hope that you enjoy the below photo tour. JURASSIC WORLD-
  10. This last weekend I was in Chicago for a short getaway and I had Saturday afternoon to myself. The weather was absolutely beautiful, so I decided to make my way down to the museum campus. I was able to get down to that portion of the lakefront in time to catch the tail-end of the Chicago March for Science, around 40,000 scientists and their allies rallying in support of science funding and science-based policy, and also in defense of the environment. It was a boisterous crowd of all ages and wonderful to see. The ending point of the March was right in front of the Field Museum of Natural History, so I decided to head inside. I grew up in the greater Chicagoland area, so I have been coming to the Field for 30 or so years now, but in years past, I must admit, my interest was always mainly in the dinosaurs and other Mesozoic creatures- I never paid nearly as much attention to the earlier flora and fauna. Now that I have been collecting from Mazon Creek and other Carboniferous sites for about a year and a half, I thought I might view the exhibits in a new light. The museum was crowded, as many other marchers had the same idea to spend the afternoon in this iconic "temple of science". I decided to check out one of the special exhibits up at the moment, titled "Specimens: Unlocking the Secrets of Life" , a sort of behind-the-scenes look at the value of the museum's vast collections and how they have been used to make scientific breakthroughs. This special exhibit is scheduled to run until January 7, 2018, and I highly recommend it to anyone in the area!
  11. A mini fossil museum exists within the lobby of the Park Hyatt in Chicago, just off Michigan Avenue. I'm guessing not too many people know about it unless they're guests at the hotel. It's a wonderful display of very large Moroccan trilobites, ammonites and various other fossils from around the world. It is free, of course, because it's in the lobby and a nice diversion if you're ever in the area. Another added bonus is it's open 24 hours.
  12. Hey everyone! Last August I took a trip to Chicago and, of course, went to The Field Museum. It's quite impressive and absolutely worth visiting. All exhibitions I was able to see were awesome. My favorite part was the dinosaur room, though the most famous skeleton is in the main hall. Let's start with some pictures of Sue - the most complete T-Rexskeleton ever found. The skull mounted to the bod, isn't the actual skull found with the skeleton. The original skull is exhibited on the first floor and wasn't add to the body, because it was kinda squeezed (you can read all about it at the museum). There's also another bone section of Sue displayed on first floor, right next to the fossil lab, where you see paleontologists working (it's like staring at animals at the zoo, but very interesting haha). Scientists still try to figure out, how these bones match to Sue's skeleton. Close to the displayed shown above, is the entrence to the dinosaur room. While making your way to the hall, you're passing several exhibits, arranged in a timeline. To me themost interesting exhibt was the Dimetrodon skeleton. My first ever dinosaur book, contained a picture of it, so it wasawesome to see it in person after so many years. Once you entered the room, you see impressive exhibts of several herbivores. To your left you find a Stegosaurus: In the middle of the room is a huge Apatosaurus: On the opposite you have Triceratops: Sorry, forgot the name of this boy, eating a Edmontosaurus: Next to the shown exhibit, you can see a Parasaurolophus: AND there's also a juvenile Edmontosaurus:
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