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The Field Museum
14,847 followers -
Always be discovering.
Always be discovering.

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24 years ago today, Sue Hendrickson went for a walk in western South Dakota, and found the largest, best preserved, and most complete T. rex fossil ever discovered. Happy Unearthed Day, SUE! 

http://archive.fieldmuseum.org/sue/
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As spring migration winds down and summer sets in, bird diversity in much of the Midwest decreases. Warblers have arrived in their boreal breeding grounds and some local birds, like robins, grackles, and starlings already have fledged young. 

But some migratory birds stick around to raise their young here, and--lucky for us--one of those birds is the Indigo Bunting (Passerine cyanea). The stunningly blue males have a loud, beautiful song that can be heard in fields and woods throughout the Midwest in June. Even if you live in the City of Chicago you don't have to miss out--they breed at the Jarvis Bird Sanctuary at Belmont Harbor and can be heard singing right from the lakeshore bike path!

(c) The Field Museum, photo by Arlene Koziol.
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Long-time Birds Division volunteer (and dedicated wildlife photographer) Arlene Koziol was contacted recently by Bass Pro Shop about using her beautiful photo of a male Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) as part their sponsorship of a NASCAR race car. The photo was prominently featured on the side of Jamie McMurray's #1 car in the Spring All-Star Race in Charlotte, NC on May 17 and--guess what?--HE WON! Congratulations Arlene and Jamie! 

More of Arlene's photos can be found on her Flickr site: https://www.flickr.com/photos/29411257@N00/

(c) The Field Museum, Arlene Koziol
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Our egg collections came out of their shell last night on Chicago Tonight!
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Survey time!
We have so many stories to tell you, but how would you like to hear about them? 
Take a few moments to answer these questions and tell us how you like to learn about science online: 

http://fieldmuseum.fluidsurveys.com/s/onlinescience/
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Happy 177th Birthday, Chicago! 
The city was incorporated on this day in 1837. 

© The Field Museum, GN89843c, Photographer Roland Kays
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These members of the genus Renardia are among the more than 59,000 different species of rove beetles, or Staphylinidae, known from around the world. 

Both the dark adults and their paler larvae (immatures, lower right photo) are very flat, as seen in the top photo. This is an evolutionary adaptation to where they live – under the tight bark of rotting logs. 

Most rove beetles are predators that feed on small insects and other animals, but Renardia and its relatives eat decaying wood, including the microscopic fungi and bacteria that break the wood down. You can see such dark material inside the pale larva’s long looped gut that runs along its midline. 

These are typical-sized rove beetles, about 3 mm (1/8 inch) long, but others range from under 1 mm (1/25 inch) to about 30 mm (1.2 inch) long.

Most Renardia species and their relatives live in tropical areas, but the adult shown here was found in the mountains in Utah in November, walking under the bark of a small log, with ice around it (and others) under the bark! These adults, like most rove beetles, can fly when needed, but usually have their flight wings folded up very small under their short elytra (wing covers), which are the evolutionarily modified front wings that are characteristic of beetles. The short elytra and exposed abdomen occur in nearly all rove beetles; their resulting flexible bodies seem to let them live in tiny tight places that most more-rigid adult beetles cannot move around in. 

Thanks to this week’s special contributor, Margaret K. Thayer, Division of Insects, Zoology Department.

© The Field Museum, Photos taken by Gracen M. Brilmyer, under the direction of Margaret K. Thayer.

Learn more about rove beetles at http://archive.fieldmuseum.org/peet_staph/
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You asked, Emily answered! It's the latest episode of The Brain Scoop!
Ask Emily #7
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It's the final weekend for Creatures of Light.
Bask in the glow before it's too late!

http://creaturesoflight.fieldmuseum.org/
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