Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Field Museum of Chicago (Lascaux Cave Exhibit & permanent collection, Evolving Planet)

The Field Museum of Chicago is located next to Lake Michigan, very close to
 Soldier Field, the Adler Planetarium and the Shedd Aquarium

Sue, the most complete and best preserved T-Rex fossil in the world.

Sue's head is too heavy to mount with rest of body.

Geologic Time Scale displaying the different Periods.

Interesting 50 million year old fossil found in Wyoming. Fish died after it literally
bit off more than it could chew. The fish could not shallow the smaller fish and died.

We are related, however distantly it may be, to ALL other forms of life, both living and extinct.

Homo-sapiens did not directly evolve from apes. We share a common ancestor
with chimpanzees (and bonobos, orangutans, gorillas, etc.) but there existed many
hominid (hominin) species leading up to modern man.

Neanderthals (another hominin) existed between ~250,000 and ~30,000 years ago.
They did very well until the more advanced Homo Sapiens came along.
Homo Sapiens have about 1-4% Neanderthal DNA. Most people have
about 2-2.5%.  Europeans have more than Africans.

There have been 6 major mass extinction of species in the past 543 million year
(since the Cambrian Period when the number complex life forms expanded greatly) .
During each of these mass extinctions, 70 to 95% of the species perished.
The most devastating of these was the Permian Extinction about 250 million years ago.
The last two were 65 million years ago when the dinosaurs were decimated
(Cretaceous Extinction), and during the last Ice Age, that started 70,000 years ago 
and ended about 11,000 years ago.
Despite these periods, life and the Earth itself, are extremely resilient.

Thank goodness for real museums.

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