Dinosaurs and the animals at Brookfield
Zoo may not seem to go together, but an exhibit that opens
Saturday at the zoo will help visitors understand the link between
prehistoric and modern animals.
Dinosaurs Alive! features a winding trail through the zoo with
24 life-size animatronic prehistoric creatures that roar, move and
thrash their tails. Shantungosaurus-the largest dinosaur to walk on
two legs-stands at more than 20 feet tall and 50 feet long. In
addition, the exhibit has a tent filled with the most recent
paleontological findings that birds evolved from dinosaurs. The
dino dig in the tent area lets kids dig through sand to find the
bones buried below.
"We're incorporating feathered dinosaurs, so visitors can
understand the link between modern day birds," says Andre Copeland,
interpretive programs manager at the zoo. "The feathered dinosaurs
are going to be in a 5,000-square-foot tent and within this tent,
there will be fossils to see, raptor talons, fossils that proved
dinosaurs actually had feathers, and information on how scientists
find this out."
And, while the exhibits are educational, there's also an element
of fun mixed in, Copeland says.
"We kind of spoofed how you might see dinosaurs if they were
still alive and in some of the tabloids, how TMZ or Discovery Kids
might report this," he says. "The factual information will be
sound, but these message points might connect more with teens and
Although the dinos are large and the roars loud, the exhibit
isn't scary and should appeal to even young children.
Liz DeCarlo is the former senior editor at Chicago Parent.
See more of Liz's stories here.
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