Milwaukee Zoo’s “Jurassic Journey” Dinosaur Exhibit!

 

Many zoos around the country offer guests a chance to see prehistoric animals alongside their living ones. This is thanks to the skilled craftsman and animatronic wizards of several companies including Billings Productions, Inc. who offer their clients a selection of over three hundred different prehistoric animals to choose from. As of this date, I’ve seen robotic dinosaurs at Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo, the North Carolina Zoo, Franklin Park Zoo in New England, and a few in Milwaukee. Although I love Natural history museums and their collection of fossils, these life-like representations are a great way to envision yourself standing before living ones. The Milwaukee County Zoo is about two hours north of me and I make a point to visit them at least twice a year. It’s a decent sized park with elephants, bears, and a large collection of big cats so never disappoints. They’ve featured dinosaurs and even giant bugs every couple years or so, though always with a different selection. The cost is $3 per person (in addition to their regular admission fees) and well worth it!

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Tracking down the Sinclair Dinosaurs

apatosaurus

Standing at the West end of  Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo is a lone statue often overlooked by the two million guests who visit the park each year. Back in the early ‘70s when I first saw it, just about every dinosaur depicted was either T-Rex, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, or the long-necked Brontosaurus (later changed to “Apatosaurus” before regaining its legitimacy). The zoo’s dinosaur, however, was none of these but rather an obscure duck-billed variety called (at that time) a Trachodon. Despite what I’d seen in books and cartoons, this replica gave me something that I’d never had before; a true sense of scale. For the first time I could look up and appreciate the actual size of these prehistoric monsters and, over forty years later, I’m fortunate to still be able to see it at the zoo today. Only recently would I gain a true appreciation for the treasure that it is. Continue reading