I glanced cautiously around the corner as we made our way toward the entrance of the feature gallery at the TELUS World of Science Edmonton. One of my four-year-old twin daughters insisted on being carried, while the other tugged at my hand and suggested we could go back to the Science Garage. Lucky for me, they spotted a huge screen showing an animal video and they forgot about their protests – at least for the moment.
My kids LOVE the TELUS World of Science. They could spend the whole day in the Science Garage. They adore the Discoveryland Gallery children’s area. (especially the Rainbow Cloud Piano!) They will talk your ear off about the S.P.A.C.E. Gallery and their first movie was a nature film in the IMAX.
But there was one thing they did not like: the Dinosaurs Unearthed exhibit. Don’t get me wrong – like most four-year-olds, they are fascinated by dinosaurs – but they are not fans of giant animatronic dinosaurs growling at them. Our attempt at touring the exhibit ended with me carting two screaming children out of the feature gallery.
Needless to say I was a little leery about entering TWOSE’s newest feature Body Worlds: Animal Inside Out. But much to my pleasant surprised the girls were more fascinated than frightened!
The animal video, and the fact that sea creatures are the first on display, certainly didn’t hurt my chances. The girls were full of questions: “Is that a REAL octopus?”, “How many teeth does that shark have?”, “But WHY did they cut the squid in half?”
They loved seeing the reindeer (we visited a couple days before Christmas, so that goes without saying!), were intrigued by the brains, and didn’t even shy away from giants like the bull and camel.
Animal Inside Out is the latest offering from the creator of Body Worlds, Dr. Gunther von Hagens. More than 100 specimens, preserved through Plastination, are on display. Many are inside glass cases, but others, like the aforementioned bull and camel, are out in the open to allow visitors the rare chance to get such a unique view. (No touching and no flash photography is allowed.)
This is an exhibit that may not be for everyone, and sensitive visitors should proceed with caution. The TWOSE website clearly explains that no animals were harmed for the creation of the exhibit and that specimens were collected with the support of veterinary programs, zoos, animal groups and private donations. Visitors should also be aware that the exhibit contains some human samples, including parts of reproductive systems.
The TELUS World of Science Edmonton website has a great PDF you can download before your tour that offers a scavenger hunt of sorts for visitors, as well as tips for visiting with children, and the reminder that science team members are always on hand to help with questions.
Animal Inside Out ends with a remarkable space dedicated to its largest specimen – the giraffe. My husband scanned the towering creature, then looked at me and said “Can you imagine how they transport this exhibit?!?”
I can’t – but I suspect the answer to that question is as fascinating as the exhibit itself!
Animal Inside Out – The New Body Worlds at TWOSE:
When: Until March 31, 2019
Where: TELUS World of Science Edmonton, 11211 – 142 Street, Edmonton
Cost: Adults $29.95, Child $19.95, Students/Seniors $24.95 (separate pricing from science centre admission)
TWOSE Members Cost: Adults $6, Children $3