The LA Zoo is currently featuring 17 life-size, animatronic dinosaurs in a walk-through exhibit. Visitors at Dinosaurs : Unextinct at the L.A. Zoo stroll through a shaded garden planted with foliage similar to the earliest known trees and plants, among them ferns, cycads, conifers and ginkos.
The dinosaurs, provided by Billings Productions, come from all of the corners of the earth and geological eras spanning 65 to 200 million years ago. We have all heard of the Brachiosaurus, but a Suchomimus? An Edmontonia? I was wondering if they were just making them up. But l’m sure tons of research went into this project. Of course the star of the show is the Tyrannosaurus, from the Cretaceous period 65 million years ago. The press release doesn’t mention that he is animatronically eating another dinosaur, who feebly tries to lift its head. The zoo guide was momentarily taken aback and explained to the children, “It’s just sleeping.” As we were leaving, she was desperately trying to explain the circle of life. I said, “Don’t worry, kids. We’re apex predators.”
We brought a couple of 6 year-olds as models and test subjects. They loved everything, especially the dinosaurs that surprise you with a spray of water. Among the exhibit’s added features is a Fossil Dig, and climbable Pachyrhinosaurus. The kids played with all of the interactive features, and were especially enamored with the simulated fossil dig.
Admission to the Los Angeles Zoo is $20 for general admission (ages 13 to 61); $17 for seniors (ages 62+), and $15 for children (ages 2 to 12), Entry for the dinosaur exhibit is $5 per person in addition to regular Zoo admission, and free for kids under age two. The exhibit continues through October 31, 2016, running daily from 10 am to 4 pm. You can also download the “Dinosaurs: Unextinct at the L.A. Zoo” augmented reality app.