Dinosaurs Alive!, presented by Dominick’s, is returning to Brookfield Zoo, and it’s bigger and better than before. Beginning Saturday, April 6, guests to the zoo will be able to travel back to a time when animals larger than life ruled the Earth. The fun and engaging exhibit of Tyrannosaurus proportions will feature 24 life-size animatronic dinosaurs, including many newcomers like Styracosaurus, Tuojiangosaurus, and Pachycephalosaurus, as well as some with feathers, such as Microraptor and Gigantoraptor, the latter of which was discovered less than a decade ago in China . Of course, some ferocious favorites like Tyrannosaurus rex and Dilophosaurus will be back, as will Stegosaurus and Triceratops. The highlight of the exhibit will be Shantungosaurus—the largest dinosaur to walk on two legs—standing more than 20 feet tall and 50 feet long next to the zoo’s Roosevelt Fountain.
Dinosaurs Alive!, which runs through October 27, will take zoogoers along a winding trail that showcases one of the most innovative displays of animatronic dinosaurs making a variety of sounds and movements. A tented showcase will highlight the most recent paleontological findings, including scientific discoveries that show how birds evolved from dinosaurs. In addition, guests will learn how dinosaurs are relevant to today’s world and how changes in climate may have led to their extinction.
“We often think of dinosaurs as other-worldly creatures, but there are actually many similarities between our lives today and the Earth they knew,” said Andre Copeland, interpretive programs manager for the Chicago Zoological Society. “This entertaining and educational experience will offer our guests an opportunity to imagine living with dinosaurs while exploring some of the connections between humans and dinosaurs.”
The animatronic dinosaurs feature ones ranging from a 4-foot-tall “baby” to adult-size species of the crafty Velociraptor and the ferocious carnivore Tyrannosaurus rex, all dating from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods 200 to 65 million years ago.
Guests will also learn about prehistoric flowers and plants and will have the chance to view real fossils such as bones, skulls, eggs, and teeth. Additionally, youngsters can be just like a real paleontologist and discover what is hidden in the Dino Dig area sponsored by JULIE, Inc.
Using mobile technology such as QR codes, guests will be able to connect to streaming video that features whimsical information about dinosaurs. Throughout the exhibit, graphics about each species and dinosaurs in general will teach dino enthusiasts the similarities between dinosaurs and today’s animals, as well as facts on dinosaur habitats, adaptations, and other factors that allow creatures to thrive no matter when or where they live. In addition, zoo educators will be stationed in the exhibit to enhance the story of these prehistoric wonders, which have fascinated humans since their discovery in the 1820s.
Dinosaurs Alive! is $5 for adults and $3 for children and seniors over 65 in addition to regular zoo general admission of $15 for adults and $10.50 for children and seniors over 65. Children 2 and under are free. Beginning in April, discounted-combo general zoo admission and Dinosaurs Alive! tickets will be available for purchase at participating Dominick’s stores. Zoo members can take advantage of half-price admission to Dinosaurs Alive! Or guests can now pay for a day and come back for the year with the Zooper Fun Pass. For the same price as a one-day all-inclusive ticket, the Zooper Fun Pass offers admission to Dinosaurs Alive! and to each of Brookfield Zoo’s six other special attractions. And with the Zooper Fun Pass , guests can also come back to visit again and again throughout 2013.