Field Museum's specimens come to life

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Wandering through the Field Museum, visitors lean in for a closer look.

They take in the colors, the shapes and the history around them.

But now these creatures do more than strike a pose. They're ready to chat, in the Specimens exhibit.

Connecting with the specimens is as easy as pulling out your smartphone. First, find the exhibit wifi. When the Specimens app pops up on your screen, figure out which display you're near. Then click on a specimen and listen.

Chicagoans auditioned for these roles over the summer... recording their voices at pop up booths throughout the city.

A few more recognizable people, like Chicago Blackhawks Captain Jonathan Toews, helped out too.

The interactive app catches visitors off guard.

"It really brought the exhibit to life, in a funny way," remarked museum visitor Julie Gooding.

The recordings always surprise listeners because no two specimens have the same personality.

Running through the beginning of January, the exhibit features a diverse array of items very big- and very small.

The displays showcase the museum's vast archives of 30 million specimens, which are as important for science as for culture.

"We're studying that collection every day. Looking at the past and trying to understand the future," explained museum PR director Jaclyn Johnston.

They're having some fun along the way, too!

You can listen to the full list of specimen voices here.
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