MSI: Animal Inside Out

March 29, 2013 3:52:19 AM PDT
ANIMAL INSIDE OUT, a Body Worlds Production, opened in March.

This spring and summer, the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI) will offer the unique chance to explore the intricate biology and physiology of some of the world's most spectacular creatures in ANIMAL INSIDE OUT, a Body Worlds Production.

This exhibit, from anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens?inventor of Plastination science and creator of the trailblazing BODY WORLDS exhibitions?will make its U.S. premiere at MSI from March 14 through September 2, 2013.

The exhibition showcases amazing animal specimens that have been preserved through the process of Plastination. From goats to giraffes and octopuses to ostriches, guests will see the inner workings of these impressive animals and better understand the evolution of animals and the natural world.

"Usually you see specimens as skeletons or taxidermies. At ANIMAL INSIDE OUT, Museum guests will see animals in a whole new way," said Anne Rashford, MSI's director of temporary exhibits. "The process of Plastination, which removes the fluids from the body and replaces them with plastics that harden, allows guests to see the most incredible details of the body."

The exhibit reveals the different ways animals have evolved and adapted their anatomy and physiology according to where they live. Dr. von Hagens says the exhibition is intended to recognize the wonder and traits of animals: "It is critical that we increase our understanding of animals in the wild, not only for their preservation, but also for our own."

Dr. Angelina Whalley, exhibition curator and creative and conceptual designer of the BODY WORLDS exhibitions adds, "ANIMAL INSIDE OUT shows animal anatomy with far more detail than any textbook. It's fascinating to see the anatomical similarities between different animal groups, including humans. Animals too are skin, flesh and bone, like humans."

Skeletal foundations: From tiny insects to full-grown mammals, most animals have a skeleton of some sort, whether it is an internal endoskeleton which humans have or the external exoskeleton of insects and crustaceans.

Muscles, tendons and ligaments: From the large running and leaping muscles of a reindeer to the specialized muscles of a bull's heart pumping blood and nutrients around the body, ANIMAL INSIDE OUT reveals how most animals have muscles.

Internal circuit of the nervous system: The nervous system is a vast and complex network connecting the brain, the spinal cord and all parts of the body, channeling a constant flow of data and sending out commands. The nerve fibers that carry this vital information can be finer than a human hair and are invisible to the naked eye.

The birds and the bees: After feeding, reproduction is the most essential of all an animal's activities, and evolution has developed a vast number of different ways for animals to reproduce.

Breathing and eating: The lungs and digestive tracts of animals, such as the reindeer, reveal the intricate detail of some of the major organs in the body, many of the characteristics of which we share with them.

Wildlife conservation and preservation: By learning how similar animals and humans are, guests will be able to gain a new appreciation for the importance of animal welfare.

Some of the highlights of the exhibition include:
the rarely-seen giant squid with its huge eyes, designed for picking up light in the ocean depths;
the world's tallest mammal, a giraffe, that towers over guests;
a cross section of a crocodile that shows the inner workings of this cold-blooded hunter;
the gangly ostrich, whose powerful leg muscles allow it to run amazingly fast;
a reindeer, with its hooves that adapt to the changing seasons;
the latest research and findings comparing human and ape DNA; and
the magnificent bull, with its heart five times the size of a human's.

ANIMAL INSIDE OUT is not included in Museum general admission and will require an additional timed-entry ticket. Advance ticket purchase is recommended at The BODY WORLDS exhibitions were created by Dr. Gunther von Hagens. BODY WORLDS is the culmination of the German scientist and physician's more than 35-year career in anatomy. More than 36 million people around the world have experienced the exhibitions. For more information, visit and

The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI) offers thousands of fun and interactive exhibits and one-of-a-kind, world-class experiences to inspire the inventive genius in everyone. Through its Center for the Advancement of Science Education, MSI also aspires to a larger vision: to inspire and motivate children to achieve their full potential in science, technology, medicine and engineering. Come visit and find your inspiration! MSI is open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, and regular hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Museum is supported in part through the generosity of the people of Chicago through the Chicago Park District. For more information, find MSI online at or call (773) 684-1414 or (800) GO-TO-MSI outside of the Chicago area.