Animal Inside Out
There are few animals more magnificent than the
giraffe, with its extra-long neck, spindly legs and patterned hide
that has inspired many an interior design scheme.
But have you ever thought about what a giraffe looks like
on the inside?
Starting this month, you'll get a chance to see what's
going on under that spotted skin, as well as inside other
eye-catching creatures like sharks, ostriches and
Animal Inside Out exhibit, from the producers of Body Worlds,
makes its U.S. debut at the
Museum of Science & Industry on March 14. But whereas Body
Worlds gave an intricate look under the human skin, the new exhibit
displays more than 100 animal specimens, thanks to that same
process of Plastination.
That means that the organs and blood vessels and tendons
on display were once inside an actual animal-a fact that's easy to
forget when you're staring at a full-sized reindeer captured in a
Anne Rashford, director of temporary exhibits at the
museum, says the exhibit profiles each animal and tells stories of
how they have adapted over time, plus serves as a lesson in
comparative anatomy between the different animals and human
Animal Inside Out also explores different body systems
with the help of specimens like a shark outlined in blood vessels
or the muscles of a bull's heart.
Rashford says it's important for families to understand
that the exhibit isn't "gross," but a respectful treatment of the
"I think the exhibit is so beautifully done," she says.
"People will just be amazed by the beauty of the animal and how
magical what's underneath the skin is."
Although the museum requires that kids under 13 come with a
parent or guardian, it's really an exhibit for all ages-and some of
the littlest guests are the ones who ask the best questions.
Hopefully everyone will leave the exhibit with new knowledge and a
new perspective on our world.
"I think they will have more respect for themselves and
their body and the entire animal kingdom," Rashford says. "We are
on this planet together, and we learn from each other."
Elizabeth Diffin is the associate editor at Chicago Parent. She lives in Wheaton.
See more of Elizabeth's stories here.
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