South Florida is going prehistoric this season when the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium welcomes the blockbuster traveling exhibit, “Dinosaurs Around the World.” Open through April 16, 2016, the Science Center’s exhibition hall will go full Jurassic World, opening a dino petting zoo of its own with more than a dozen animatronic dinosaurs “moving” about life-like habitats made to mimic earth more than 100 million years ago.
“This is the biggest, most realistic dinosaur exhibit around,” said Science Center CEO Lew Crampton. “We are incredibly excited, as these dinosaurs are as true to life as science can make them.”
The exhibit, created by Imagine Exhibitions, takes guest back to the Mesozoic Era for a trip that starts with the supercontinent Pangaea, and onto a global trek post-continental drift for a fully immersive educational experience that is entertaining to boot. From long-necked herbivores to the indomitable Tyrannosaurus Rex, the exhibit, which was created in collaboration with award-winning paleontologist Gregory Erickson, delves into the latest in paleontological research, helping bring the subjects to life in magnificent detail. Guests will find that old classics are in fact much more colorful—and feathered—than previously thought, as well as how specific dinosaur species came to live, and dominate, their respective continents. The displays, complete with period-specific flora, fauna, terrain, and climate, showcases dinosaur species with complex and state-of-the-art animatronics that helps show how the life-sized reptilians lived their lives, as well as interact with one another.
While the exhibition’s main attractions—giant robot dinosaurs!—might seem more entertaining than educational, there is some sneaky science being imparted here. By focusing on dinosaurs, animals that roamed the earth for an astounding 172 million years (225 to 65 mya), the geologic time scale starts to come into focus: From Pangaea to the seven continents of today, the dinosaurs are depicted on a slowly changing planet. It is through these changes, and how dinosaurs evolved and adapted to maintain such a long reign that a geographic picture is painted. How dinosaurs thrived in the prehistoric environment—how their diet and behavior adapted to climate and terrain—helps exhibit the very basics of geography, but through a narrative of everyone’s favorite prehistoric creatures. To help tie all this together, the exhibit will feature fossils and authentic casts alongside the animatronic dinos, giving guests an opportunity to see that the animals depicted are not some figment of the imagination, but rather the result of cutting-edge research and scientific discovery.
- Dinosaurs Around the World will be on display from November 1 through April 16, 2016, during normal business hours (Monday – Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.). Admission to “Dinosaurs Around the World” and the Science Center’s permanent exhibits cost $16.95 for adults, $12.95 for children aged 3 to 12, $14.95 for seniors aged 60 and older, and children under 3 are free. For more information, visit sfsciencecenter.org.