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An Exhibit That's Dirt Beneath Your Feet

April 04, 1999

"There is far more life in the ground than above it," insists Greg Mueller, chair of the botany department at Chicago's Field Museum. And his museum hopes to prove just that with "Underground Adventure," a new permanent exhibit.

The $10-million installation, sprawling over 15,000 square feet, uses giant robot insects and other critters, 100 times actual size, to "reduce" museum visitors to the size of a bug--comparatively speaking. While "underground," you'll meet such denizens as fungi, mites, pseudo-scorpions and an 11-foot-long crayfish. Another display analyzes the contents of a teaspoonful of soil: more than a billion organisms, mostly bacteria, but also including larger life such as 300 worms.

There is a separate fee ($4 adults, $2 children 3-17) for the exhibit, added to the museum entrance fee of $7 adults, $4 children. Information: telephone (312) 922-9410.

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