The Field Museum was incorporated in the state of Illinois on September 16, 1893 as the Columbian Museum of Chicago. It was founded to house the biological and anthropological collections assembled for the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. In 1905, the museum’s name was changed to Field Museum of Natural History to honor the museum’s first major benefactor, Marshall Field. Today, it is referred to as “The Field.”
The museum collections contain over 21 million specimens including Sue, the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex currently known, the Lions of Tsavo (featured in the 1996 movie The Ghost and the Darkness), and two African elephants in the taxidermy collection.
Did you know?
- In addition to Sue, the museum also houses a skeleton of Rapetosaurus krausei. This 18-foot juvenile sauropod, found by Field Museum scientists on expedition in Madagascar, is the only one of its kind on exhibit in the world.
- In Earth’s first four billion years, the period of time known as the Precambrian Era, life first evolved.
- By 3.5 billion years ago, tiny single-celled organisms called prokaryotes were living in Earth’s oceans. For about one billion years these were the only life forms on Earth.