Photo by: Julie Larsen Maher © Wildlife Conservation Society
BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 23- The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo’s Dinosaur Safari opens to the public on Saturday, May 25. The exhibit includes more than 20 life-like animatronic dinosaurs up to 40 feet long which snarl, roar and spit.
The narrated ride runs through a two-acre area of the zoo and highlights some of the similar physical and behavioral adaptations many prehistoric species share with modern-day wildlife. A guide helps identify the dinosaurs and explains how animals at the Bronx Zoo use similar adaptations to survive in the wild.
Dinosaur Safari begins with the Permian period which began about 300 million years ago and concludes with the Cretaceous period which ended 65 million years ago.
Each dinosaur encountered moves and vocalizes. At the end of the experience, there is a fossil dig for children; a Tyrannosaurus rex photo-op; a paleontologist’s tent where fossil replicas will be on display; and an interactive Stegosaurus that shows how the dinosaur animatronics work.
“The Dinosaur Safari experience is a total immersive experience,” said Jim Breheny, WCS Executive Vice President, General Director WCS Zoos and Aquarium, and Bronx Zoo Director. “The dinosaurs are realistic and through the entire safari visitors are surrounded by thick jungle foliage, which really adds to the experience and helps you imagine that you have traveled back in time to see these amazing creatures.”
Featured dinosaur species include favorites like a 40-foot long Tyrannosaurus rex, a species that was an apex predator much like the lions on the zoo’s African Plains today; and Brachiosaurus, a herbivore that used its long neck to feed from tree tops like a giraffe. Other lesser-known dinosaur species on the safari include Pachycephalosaurus, a dinosaur that may have used its thick skull to battle for territory and females in a manner similar to the American bison; and Coelophysis, small by dinosaur standards, but an effective pack hunter like spotted hyenas.
The entire safari route includes plants, shrubs and trees that help illustrate the periods of time where these animals lived. Some of the greenery includes monkey puzzle and gingko trees and cycads that date back 300 million years to the Permian period. Ferns begin to show up in the Jurassic period, and the magnolias, palms, and laurel are well represented in the section of the safari that illustrates the Cretacious period.
Other Dinosaur Safari-themed activities throughout the zoo include Wildlife Theater –Adaptations; A Dinosaur Musical on the stage at Asia Plaza; hands-on crafts and a LaQ Dinosaur Build Station at the Dancing Crane Pavilion; a giant 3D dinosaur puzzle; and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs 4-D Experience. A full list of daily activities is available at www.BronxZoo.com/dino.
This limited engagement will run from Saturday, May 25 through Sunday, September 8 and will be included in the Total Experience Ticket. A 20 percent discount is offered with online purchases for Monday and Tuesday visits. Tickets can be purchased in advance at www.bronxzoo.com/dinotix.