Meet the Backyard Monsters (now invading the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum)

Meet the Backyard Monsters (now invading the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum)
Backyard Monsters at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Did you know that over one billion insects populate the planet? Talk about the good, the bad and the ugly. The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum just welcomed a new exhibit call Backyard Monsters that celebrates these little (and not-so-little) buggers.

The exhibit features larger than life robotic creatures and nine species of live insects. the objective of Backyard Monsters is to inspire visitors to look at insects in a whole new way.

Backyard Monsters offers the opportunity to:

  • Walk off a larger than life backyard deck and be ‘shrunk’ down to bug size.
  • Gaze up at giant robotic insects such as Carpenter ants, Praying Mantis, Scorpion, Butterfly and a Dragonfly
  • Engage with a diverse group of live insects headlined by the Museum’s newest permanent residents, the state’s largest colony of Leafcutter ants (these guys steal the whole show). Also featured are a Tailless Whip scorpion (like Harry Potter), a tarantula, a Giant Shield mantis and more.
  • Control the movement of a robotic bug and view the world through insect eyes
  • Explore interactive, hands-on stations such as: Rub a Bug, Small Talk, First Flyers, Bug’s Eye View, It’s a Flea’s Life, Better to Eat you With and Assemble an Ant.

Next to Backyard Monsters in the marquee gallery, check out the complementary exhibition Insects: An Enormous Diversity that depicts the current scientific understanding of insect relationships in a “family tree." This rendering shows the amazing diversity of the insect class using graphics and more than 100 specimens from the collections of the Chicago Academy of Sciences.

Backyard Monsters will be featured at the Nature Museum through Jan. 22, 2013. Go check it out.

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