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The Animal Inside Out exhibit, a Body Worlds Production, is now featured at The Leonardo museum in Salt Lake City.
“We have a good relationship with Body Worlds and we are always looking for traveling exhibits to bring in,” Communications Specialist at the Leonardo, Bryton Sampson said. “They contacted us to let us know that it was available and we jumped on it.”
The exhibit is full of over 100 human and animal specimens. There are life-sized displays, as well as glass box presentations of many internal structures. Visitors get the opportunity to see a comparison of human body parts to those of animals.
“Sometimes you have to tell yourself ‘oh its just pretend,’ but I think it was interesting that they tied it in so that you could see the similarities between the animals they had and the humans,” sophomore Child and Family Studies major, Kylie Peterson said. “They showed different hearts and they showed the different brains. I think it was cool to see how animals size up against humans.”
All of the animal and human body parts on display were donated to universities and zoos nationwide. Every animal in the presentation lived in favorable circumstances, were well taken care of and died of natural causes.
The specimens went through plastination to stop the decaying process, allowing scientist to study the anatomy of animals and create the displays for the exhibit.
“The museum facilitators go through training and then just by spending so much time in the museum they pick up on things. We did have a company-wide training and then, of course, we have some printed materials for them to review,” said Sampson. “Just by experiencing the exhibit day in and day out, they come to know it pretty well.”
Visitors are allowed to walk through the exhibit at their own pace, spending as much time as they would like in order to fully see the museum. The museum facilitators wander around the exhibit in order to answer questions and explain certain specimens
“My favorite part of working at the museum is the community atmosphere and the culture that we bring in,” Museum Facilitator, Jasmine King said. “All of our exhibits are really interactive and you have to use a lot of creativity. I love the community aspect and bringing a lot of people in.”
The Leonardo has been opened for almost 50 years. Named after Leonardo Da Vinci, the museum incorporates his love of learning and creativity.
“The purpose of the Leonardo is to inspire curiosity in everyone and I think the exhibit does a great job helping us achieve this mission,” said Sampson. “It’s one thing to see (the animals) in a zoo or an aquarium or in a textbook, but to be able to get up close to them and see what they are like underneath the skin, I think it really helps show us how remarkable they are and how similar they are to us.”
The Animal Inside Out exhibit isn’t the only attraction the Leonardo has to offer. There are hands-on learning labs as well as other mini-exhibits to explore. The exhibit will be at the Leonardo until September.
“Stay creative and stay curious,” King said. “We are inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci. He was always curious and an innovator and we want to inspire our guests and the community to always be curious and to always want to learn something new.”