You and your animal fan can usually be found monkeying around at Lincoln Park Zoo. Now embark on a wild new adventure. The Museum of Science and Industry’s new exhibit, Animal Inside Out, a Body Worlds Production, opening March 14, provides an inside look at nature’s creatures. Let’s repeat the key words: Inside. Look.
That’s right — you’ll skip the furry, cuddly surfaces and look right at animals’ skeletons, nervous systems, blood vessels and muscles. This is no taxidermy show. Through the process of Plastination (which removes fluids from the body and replaces them with hardening plastics), you see the fascinating anatomy of real animals.
Grossed out yet? Don’t be. Once you get used to the skeletal menagerie, you’ll feel like you’re in a cool, futuristic science lab. If you visited the museum in 2011, you might remember a similar exhibit, Body Worlds & The Cycle of Life, which used the same science invented by German-born Dr. Gunther von Hagens to explore human biology. That exhibit’s animal-centric sibling puts more than 100 species on view.
Stare up at a giraffe, examining the twisting cords of its nervous system, which channels data from the brain to the spinal cord to other parts of the body. Get close to the muscles of a reindeer, imagining how their girth helped for running and leaping. Peek inside a rabbit’s brain, where some nerve fibers are finer than a human hair. And approach a shark outlined entirely in a dense network of preserved blood vessels.
It’s all intended to increase understanding of animals in the wild and ignite new appreciation for the importance of their welfare.
Get ready, creatures of habit: This isn’t your everyday animal adventure.
Animal Inside Out, a Body Worlds Production, runs March 14-September 2 at the Museum of Science and Industry, at 57th Street and Lake Shore Drive (773-684-1414 or msichicago.org). The exhibit requires an additional ticket with a specified entry time. Tickets are $12 for adults; $8 for children ages 3-11; $6 for museum members.
What’s the last exhibit you saw at MSI?
— Kelly Aiglon