'Specimens' exhibit at Field Museum shows Earth's history

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Two hundred million years isn't really all that long if you're a dinosaur bone or if you're a snail from another time in history.

Dinosaur bones and snails are all part of the new Field Museum exhibit, "Specimens: Unlocking the Secrets of Life," and it's all about the massive behind the scenes collection of almost everything that has ever been on Earth.

Plant life, animal life and geology, Homo Sapiens are not part of the exhibit, but the billions-of-years-old earth is.

"We have brought out just a few of the specimens from our collections. We have 30 million specimens behind the scenes. Most of the people have no idea it's even here," Bill Simpson, employee at the Field Museum, said.

Their slogan is, "We're good at taking care of things. It's what we do." But they don't just take care, they study and research and share their knowledge.

The exhibit is a fascinating stroll through Earth's history. From items over three hundred million years old up to the present. It's bones, birds and a lot of dead stuff.

"Yeah lots of dead stuff but they represent data. They document time and place. There are some things we have from places that those species are extinct now," Simpson said.

Constant research is done at the Filed Museum to study life on the planet from a century ago to millions of years ago. But not all the species there are old.

For instance, some Canada geese at the exhibit are connected to the "Miracle on the Hudson." The plane crash was caused by a flock of geese like those at the Field. Scientists there called on the Field Museum for help.

"They were interested in whether this was a resident flock of Canada geese. Is this something they're going to have to deal with 365? Or was this a migrating flock? And the answer was a migrating flock and they are only here in the winter time in New York," Simpson said.

The Specimens exhibit helps answer questions and solve mysteries for scientists around the world.
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