The Machine Inside: Biomechanics

Category: Exhibitions

Exhibition Summary

Requires Discovery or All-Access Pass

Closes Jan 9, 2022

All ages


Requires Discovery or All-Access Pass

Closes Jan 9, 2022

All ages

What’s a machine that’s built to survive, move, and discover?

All living things—including you!—contain remarkable feats of engineering. 

Investigate nature’s mechanical marvels in The Machine Inside: Biomechanics. You’ll uncover surprising strengths and hidden talents: jaws that can crush over 8,000 pounds in one bite, ears that act as air conditioners, and a spring-like body that sprints at 80 miles per hour.

All ages can try out interactive experiences that show how mechanics like wings and fins, pumps and pipes, and claws and jaws work in nature.

The exhibition is presented in both English and Spanish. La exhibición está presentada en inglés y español.


A running cheetah, mid-stride.

In a digital interactive, adjust a cheetah’s speed to see how its spine springs into action when it runs.  

John Weinstein

Fit for flight? Test different wing sizes and shapes to find out what works best for birds—and planes.

Karen Bean

See remarkable feats of engineering in nature.

Exhibition highlights

  • Giraffe heart model you can “pump” 

  • Thermal camera that reveals body heat 

  • Flying interactive where you can test short and long wings

When evolution inspires human inventions

All living things on Earth face threats, from dangerous predators to increasingly extreme temperatures. Adaptations—changes that allow an organism to adjust to its environment—are what help plants and animals survive in an ever-evolving world. And humans benefit from these solutions, too.

Learn how to spot examples of biomimicry in technologies based on nature’s designs. Have you ever used Velcro, heard a chainsaw, or powered your home with electricity from turbines? Find out how nature’s innovations made these technologies—and more—possible in The Machine Inside.

Exhibition included with membership

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