If you're a Gen-X'er, you probably remember the sheer thrill you experienced seeing the fearsome dinosaurs of Jurassic Park nearly jump out of the screen when the film debuted almost 20 years ago. These exotic creatures from eons past have always captured our imaginations, as the success of Spielberg's aforementioned trilogy proves, and that fascination persists today. The Louisville Zoo is proudly capitalizing on that appeal when it opens its exciting DINOSAURS! exhibit, sponsored by the Ford Motor Company, on March 31.
Much like Jurassic Park itself, this primeval playground will feature dinosaurs from five different continents and will include eleven brand-new, never-seen-in-Louisville species, as well as the infamous Tyrannosaurus Rex (back by popular demand from the 2010 exhibit). Taking up residence in the wooded area behind Lorikeet Landing will be the Megalosaurus, Edmontosaurs, Triceratops, Coelphysis, and the breathtaking Deltadromes -- estimated to have been 44 feet long while still roaming the earth! -- among many others.
Magical animatronic technology will bring these beasts to life as they move, roar, and track with lifelike eyes, transporting visitors back through time to an age preceding the very dawn of civilization. Their solid steel frames were built by Billings Productions in Texas, and a combination of advanced electronics and pure piston power will move the claws and teeth of these primitive menaces. Snarls and chirps distinctive of each species will be broadcast through booming sound systems, putting the final touches on this utterly mesmerizing wonderland. The Zoo's hope is that visitors will be both entertained and educated as they relive the wonders of the past and consider how conservation and preservation -- both of which are at the heart of the Zoo's mission -- can prevent the extinction of any more of our wild friends.
DINOSAURS! will run through July 31, and will feature the dinosaurs themselves, a Dino Dig for younger "paleontologists," and Shopasaurus, a new gift shop at the exhibit's exit. A special attraction fee of $5 will be applied for non-members in addition to regular Zoo admission, while only $4 will be applied for Louisville Zoo members. Children under the age of 2 are admitted free. If you are part of a group of 15 or more, or you would simply like more information about this exhibit, call (502)-238-5348.