Sorry this post is really late but a few weeks ago my school had an early release for a reason I’ll never know but we have them every year. On that day I went down to the Field Museum in Chicago. In August I met someone that knew the curator of mammals at the Field museum and she told the curator about my bones and my bone hunting and he wanted to meet me! So on the 21 of September my mom dad Leah and I went down there. We got a backstage tour of how they clean the bones, how they get the skeletons ready, how they stuff the animals that go on exhibit, everything. When we got there we went upstairs to see where the curator, Mr. Heaney, works. He showed us the first animal that ever entered the museum. It was October 31, Halloween, 1893 from Australia and it was a platypus! In 1893 Chicago had the Columbian worlds fair (not really sure what that is but I have a coin from it) and that’s when they opened the field museum. The field museum is famous because in the late 90s/early 2000s, we found and displayed a dinosaur! Sue is her name and she’s a T-Rex. But anyway we saw a lot and Leah and I showed him our bones and it turns out that a block of spine that I have (it’s very big and I thought it belonged to a large deer, like really big) but apparently it’s a cow spine! At first I was really puzzled because I live in the suburbs of a very very large city, there are absolutely NO cows here. Then I remembered that in the early 1900s the suburbs were all farmland! So when cows died the owners dumped their bodies in the forest! And so 90 years later the bones surfaced. There are many signs of it being very old. Like the bone growth fading away. I thought that was awesome! Also, I talked to him about Alyssa and how her spine is curved, I showed him the picture and he asked if there was spongy material on the bottom of it and I said yes. He said that spongy material often causes arthritis. So Alyssa DID NOT have scoliosis, she had arthritis and was probably older and died. Then Leah, Mr. Heaney and I took a picture:
After that we got a tour of the basement which was awesome. The basement is where all the animals that are not on display are stored. There are 2 parts to the basement, like 2 separate basements almost. The basement is HUGE. And it’s all filled with animals! There are large animals sections, small animals sections, dog families, bird families, etc. I told him about my raccoon skeleton (Dexter) and he showed us the raccoon section
Each ‘bin’ with the bodies in have the skin, and a box with the skulls, and a box with the body. There are hundreds of thousands of rows with pretty much every animal!
Lastly we saw the deer/horse/moose room. It was SO cool. Antlers, mandibles, skulls oh my! I was hoping to find the white tailed deer skulls but they were all in Latin and I have no idea what it is. But Leah and I found so many skulls dating back as early as about 1904! That room was again, huge, and so cool. The trip was definitely a trip to remember and I doubt I’m going to be able to go back to the field museum knowing what I’ve seen in the back!