Brookfield Zoo Heading Back to
the Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods

Dinosaurs Alive! Exhibit Returns, Featuring 24 Life-Size, Animatronic Prehistoric Creatures
NOW through October 27, 2013

You have to pass this Tyrannosaurus rex, before you can leave.
Suburban Journals of Chicago Inc. photo
review by Ed Vincent

It's another exciting year for families at the Brookfield Zoo, particularly if they love Dinosaurs while learning some new facts and taking photos with their favorites.  Many of the dinosaurs were here a few years ago, from the same Chinese vendor, but there are also some new additions.  


This Spinosaurus labeled the biggest carnivore, is in a young or reduced size for the exhibit.
Suburban Journals of Chicago Inc. photo

There is a new Dinosaur tent with feathered Dinosaurs and also some great fun for the kids, where they can search in the dinosaur beds to look for their own finds.  Some of the dinosaurs have been given artistic license to allow themselves to be two or three times larger and make themselves more powerful to view, just watch the written content for the actual size.




Feathers and more feathers blended with evidence and speculation.
Suburban Journals of Chicago Inc. photos

One of these at Thanksgiving could feed an entire block of people, or one might be able to eat a block of people.  Observe with friends and keep your distance.



Inside the Dinosaur Tent there are feathered and other huge beasts from the past.
Suburban Journals of Chicago Inc. photo


Youngsters excavate looking for dinosaur skeletons...
Suburban Journals of Chicago Inc. photo



Roaming and threatening, these animations are a thrill to see.
Suburban Journals of Chicago Inc. photos

The kids will love the show, even if they've seen the last one.  There are new displays and new information to learn and the price is just $5.00 or half of that for members.  We know many of our readers are ready to come and see the new Dinosaurs and have a great day with their families.  This is a very good buy and a lot of fun for all.


The Gift shops has some very good prices on their items.
Suburban Journals of Chicago Inc. photo
The fossils and T-Shirts are priced very well, even though you can't get a 10% discount with your members card, it's still a great buy.


They're Not Dinosaurs, but the rest of the Zoo has Wild Dogs, the King of Beasts and a whole days worth of pleasure.




Suburban Journals of Chicago Inc. photos


Brookfield Zoo Heading Back to
the Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods

Dinosaurs Alive! Exhibit Returns, Featuring 24 Life-Size, Animatronic Prehistoric Creatures



  Brookfield, Illl. — Dinosaurs Alive!, presented by Dominick’s, is returning to Brookfield Zoo, and it’s bigger and better than before. Beginning Saturday, April 6, guests to the zoo will be able to travel back to a time when animals larger than life ruled the Earth. The fun and engaging exhibit of Tyrannosaurus proportions will feature 24 life-size animatronic dinosaurs, including many newcomers like Styracosaurus, Tuojiangosaurus, and Pachycephalosaurus, as well as some with feathers, such as Microraptor and Gigantoraptor, the latter of which was discovered less than a decade ago in China. Of course, some ferocious favorites like Tyrannosaurus rex and Dilophosaurus will be back, as will Stegosaurus and Triceratops. The highlight of the exhibit will be Shantungosaurus—the largest dinosaur to walk on two legs—standing more than 20 feet tall and 50 feet long next to the zoo’s Roosevelt Fountain.

 Dinosaurs Alive!, which runs through October 27, will take zoogoers along a winding trail that showcases one of the most innovative displays of animatronic dinosaurs making a variety of sounds and movements. A tented showcase will highlight the most recent paleontological findings, including scientific discoveries that show how birds evolved from dinosaurs. In addition, guests will learn how dinosaurs are relevant to today’s world and how changes in climate may have led to their extinction.

 “We often think of dinosaurs as other-worldly creatures, but there are actually many similarities between our lives today and the Earth they knew,” said Andre Copeland, interpretive programs manager for the Chicago Zoological Society. “This entertaining and educational experience will offer our guests an opportunity to imagine living with dinosaurs while exploring some of the connections between humans and dinosaurs.”

 The animatronic dinosaurs feature ones ranging from a 4-foot-tall “baby” to adult-size species of the crafty Velociraptor and the ferocious carnivore Tyrannosaurus rex, all dating from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods 200 to 65 million years ago. These remarkable animatronic creatures, which are scientifically accurate based on the latest in paleontological knowledge, were created by the Canadian company Dinosaurs Unearthed.

 Guests will also learn about prehistoric flowers and plants and will have the chance to view real fossils such as bones, skulls, eggs, and teeth. Additionally, youngsters can be just like a real paleontologist and discover what is hidden in the Dino Dig area sponsored by JULIE, Inc.

 Using mobile technology such as QR codes, guests will be able to connect to streaming video that features whimsical information about dinosaurs. Throughout the exhibit, graphics about each species and dinosaurs in general will teach dino enthusiasts the similarities between dinosaurs and today’s animals, as well as facts on dinosaur habitats, adaptations, and other factors that allow creatures to thrive no matter when or where they live. In addition, zoo educators will be stationed in the exhibit to enhance the story of these prehistoric wonders, which have fascinated humans since their discovery in the 1820s.

 Dinosaurs Alive! is $5 for adults and $3 for children and seniors over 65 in addition to regular zoo general admission of $15 for adults and $10.50 for children and seniors over 65. Children 2 and under are free. Beginning in April, discounted-combo general zoo admission and Dinosaurs Alive! tickets will be available for purchase at participating Dominick’s stores. Zoo members can take advantage of half-price admission to Dinosaurs Alive! Or guests can now pay for a day and come back for the year with the Zooper Fun Pass. For the same price as a one-day all-inclusive ticket, the Zooper Fun Pass offers admission to Dinosaurs Alive! and to each of Brookfield Zoo’s six other special attractions. And with the Zooper Fun Pass, guests can also come back to visit again and again throughout 2013.

The Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo, inspires conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County. Open every day of the year, the zoo is located off First Avenue between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and is also accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, CTA, and PACE bus service. For further information, visit www.CZS.org.


        

Brookfield Zoo Website


Below is a list of and facts about each of the animatronic dinosaurs that guests can see at Brookfield Zoo. Dinosaurs Alive! is open from April 6 through October 27.

Alxasaurus

Pronounced: ALL-shuh-SOAR-us
Name Means: Alxa Desert lizard
Diet: Herbivore (plant eater)
Period: Early Cretaceous (120 million years ago)
Fossils Found: China
Weight: 800 to 900 pounds
Animatronic Size: 12 feet long x 6 feet wide x 7 feet high
Alxasaurus had 40 teeth located only at the back of its mouth.
Alxasaurus used its enormous curved claws to grasp and shear leafy branches for food.
Alxasaurus is part of a group of dinosaurs known as therizinosaurs (there-ih-ZIN-oh-soar-us), which are known for having extremely long claws on their hands. These claws may have been used as defensive weapons against predators.

Amargasaurus

Pronounced: ah-MAR-guh-SOAR-us
Name Means: La Armaga (bitter) lizard
Diet: Herbivore (plant eater)
Period: Early Cretaceous (125 million to 103 million years ago)
Fossils Found: Argentina
Weight: 11,000 pounds
Animatronic Size: 35 feet long x 5 feet wide x 10 feet high
Amargasaurus had two rows of spines taller than those of any other sauropod. The long spines may have made it hard for this plant-eating animal to bend its neck up. Most likely, it ate food found near the ground.
No one knows for sure the purpose of the spines. They may have helped Amargasaurus tell its own species apart from other dinosaurs. Perhaps skin grew between the spines and helped warm its blood. Or possibly the spines made the dinosaur look much bigger and tougher.

Carnotaurus

Pronounced: CAR-no-TORE-us
Name Means: Meat-eating bull
Diet: Carnivore (meat eater)
Period: Late Cretaceous (72 million to 70 million years ago)
Fossils Found: Argentina
Weight: 2,000 pounds
Animatronic Size: 26 feet long x 4 feet wide x 10 feet high
Carnotaurus was an odd-looking dinosaur with tiny arms that were even shorter than those of Tyrannosaurus rex. The two large horns jutting from its head made this animal stand out from other meat-eating dinosaurs.
Scientists believe the horns may have been used in fights.

Confuciusornis

Pronounced: kon-FEW-shus-OR-nis
Name Means: Confucius bird
Diet: Herbivore (plant eater)
Period: Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous (125 million to 140 million years ago)
Fossils Found: China
Weight: 0.25 to 3 pounds
Animatronic Size: 4 feet long x 4 feet wide x 4 feet high (actual size: 2 feet long) Feathers used to define birds. If an animal had feathers, it was a bird. In the late 1990s, that definition was altered by the discovery of feathered dinosaurs. Confuciusornis looked like a small Velociraptor, yet its feathered wings and toothless beak made it an intriguing mix of dinosaur and bird.
Confuciusornis’s shoulder muscle prevented this animal from raising its wings above its back. The flight feathers, longer than its body, show that it had already diverged from the evolutionary line that led to modern birds.

Dilophosaurus

Pronounced: die-LOF-uh-SOAR-us
Name Means: Two-crested lizard
Diet: Carnivore
Period: Early Jurassic (193 million years ago)
Fossils Found: North America (Arizona)
Weight: 1,000 pounds
Animatronic Size: 17 feet long x 3 feet wide x 6 feet high
Dilophosaurus was the largest meat-eating dinosaur of the Early Jurassic period.
It was an agile hunter that used its large, sharp claws to grab prey and had tiny, sharp teeth to tear it apart.
The double crests on top of the snout were not attached to the skull. They may have been for display purposes, like the feathers of a peacock. If this is so, the female of the species probably did not have a crest.

Dyoplosaurus

Pronounced: die-op-low-SOAR-us
Name Means: Double-armored lizard
Diet: Herbivore (plant eater)
Period: Late Cretaceous (76 million years ago)
Fossils Found: Alberta, Canada
Weight: 4,400 pounds
Animatronic Size: 19 feet long x 4 feet wide x 5 feet high
Built like a giant turtle, Dyoplosaurus had tough, bony armor plating that could snap the teeth of most predators. But it was the tail club that kept all but the most foolish of attackers away.
The club—the last 50 inches of the tail—was made of stiffened vertebrae (the handle) and a bony knob. Researchers believe a hit from this animal’s tail club could not break big bones. However, a direct hit would cause tremendous pain, persuading most predators to leave all but the weakest Dyoplosaurus alone.

Gigantoraptor

Pronounced: jih-GAN-toe-RAP-ter
Name Means: Gigantic thief
Diet: Omnivore (plant and meat eater)
Period: Late Cretaceous (72 million to 71 million years ago)
Fossils Found: Mongolia
Weight: 3,000 pounds
Animatronic Size: 26 feet long x 4 feet wide x 15 feet high
Gigantoraptor was the largest known feathered animal.
Growth patterns in its fossils show that Gigantoraptor could gain between 150 and 200 pounds per year in the first seven years of its life.
Gigantoraptor had a powerful snapping beak and is the biggest toothless dinosaur yet discovered.

Kosmoceratops

Pronounced: KOZ-mo-SAIR-uh-tops
Name Means: Ornate horned face
Diet: Herbivore (plant eater)
Period: Late Cretaceous (76.4 million to 75.5 million years ago)
Fossils Found: Western North America (Utah)
Weight: 5,000 pounds
Animatronic Size: 18 feet long x 4 feet wide x 9 feet high
With possibly the most ornate skull of any known dinosaur, Kosmoceratops had 10 hooklike horns extending from its bent frill and five horns on its face.
For many years, scientists thought horned dinosaurs used their large frill as a protective shield. However, many species, including Kosmoceratops, have large holes in the frill. These holes may have been covered by brightly colored skin. It is possible the frills were used less for defense and more for attracting mates.

Microraptor

Pronounced: MY-crow-RAP-ter
Name Means: Small thief
Diet: Carnivore (meat eater)
Period: Early Cretaceous (120 million years ago)
Fossils Found: China
Weight: 2 pounds
Animatronic Size: 7 feet long x 6 feet wide x 4 feet high (actual size: 2.5 to 3 feet long)
Although this feathered, four-winged dinosaur could not fly, it probably glided in a steep downward path. The feathers on its legs and tail could have been used to alter and control the descent.
Unusual even among early birds, Microraptor sported feathers on both forearms and hands. However, it was an evolutionary dead end. Microraptor did not evolve into a bird.

Olorotitan

Pronounced: oh-LOW-row-tie-tan
Name Means: Giant swan
Diet: Herbivore (plant eater)
Period: Late Cretaceous (70 million to 65.5 million years ago)
Fossils Found: Asia
Weight: 10,000 pounds
Animatronic Size: 28 feet long x 5 feet wide x 16 feet high (juvenile) (adults could reach 40 feet long)
Olorotitan belonged to the group of duckbills with large, spectacular crests.
It is believed that these dinosaurs came from Asia and migrated to North America across a land bridge.
Olorotitan is the most complete duck-billed dinosaur skeleton found outside of North America. It was unearthed in 2001 in the Amur region of eastern Russia.

Omeisaurus

Pronounced: OH-may-SOAR-us
Name Means: Mount Emei lizard
Diet: Herbivore (plant eater)
Period: Middle Jurassic (168 million to 156 million years ago)
Fossils Found: China
Weight: 8,000 to 18,000 pounds
Animatronic Size: 36 feet long x 5 feet wide x 17 feet high (actual size could reach up to 50 feet long)
The best protection Omeisaurus had from meat-hungry predators was its massive size.
Like most long-necked dinosaurs (sauropods), Omeisaurus spent most of its day eating. Munching up to 2,200 pounds of plants each day, the eating machine did not have time to chew its food. Instead it swallowed food whole and let gastroliths (stones in its stomach) grind the food.
Of all dinosaurs, Omeisaurus had one of the longest necks (17 vertebrae) relative to its body size.

Pachycephalosaurus

Pronounced: pak-ee-SEF-uh-lo-SOAR-us
Name Means: Thick-headed lizard
Diet: Herbivore (plant eater)
Period: Late Cretaceous (67 million years ago)
Fossils Found: Western United States (Montana, South Dakota, and Wyoming)
Weight: 950 pounds
Animatronic Size: 19 feet long x 4 feet wide x 7 feet high
The large, bony dome atop the skull of Pachycephalosaurus was up to 9 inches thick and protected its relatively small brain. The dome, along with the knobs and spikes at its base, was likely used to drive off the competition for mates. Originally, paleontologists assumed that Pachycephalosaurus bashed heads like battling musk oxen do. Closer examination of the neck structure showed it to be too weak to withstand such forces. Current theories propose that the dome was used to head-butt the sides of competitive males while a Pachycephalosaurus was trying to establish dominance.

Parasaurolophus

Pronounced: PAIR-uh-so-ROL-uh-phus
Name Means: Like crested lizard
Diet: Herbivore (plant eater)
Period: Late Cretaceous (76.5 million to 72 million years ago)
Fossils Found: North America (Alberta, New Mexico, and Utah)
Weight: 4,000 pounds
Animatronic Size: 25 feet long x 5 feet wide x 12 feet high
The trumpeting alarm calls from the hollow head crest of Parasaurolophus warned others in the herd of approaching predators. The crest, which grew up to 6 feet long, could have been used to make mating calls or announce a good source of food.
Parasaurolophus had a single defense plan: run! It moved quickly on its two strong back legs.
When grazing, Parasaurolophus could crouch down on all four legs.
Parasaurolophus used its ducklike beak and hundreds of tiny teeth to grind tough conifers and ferns into a digestible pulp.

Shantungosaurus

Pronounced: shan-TUNG-oh-SOAR-us
Name Means: Shandong lizard
Diet: Herbivore (plant eater)
Period: Late Cretaceous (70 million years ago)
Fossils Found: China
Weight: 26,000 to 30,000 pounds
Animatronic Size: 49 feet long x 8 feet wide x 19 feet high
Shantungosaurus is a hadrosaur (meaning it was duck-billed) and the largest nonsauropod dinosaur ever to be discovered. Larger than the North American theropod Tyrannosaurus rex, both in length and height, Shantungosaurus would have dwarfed the local predators.
Originally discovered in 1964, Shantungosaurus temporarily lost its title as the largest hadrosaur when Zhuchengosaurus was found in 2007 in the same geographical location. In 2011, however, a study concluded that Zhuchengosaurus was simply a mature version of Shantungosuarus.
It appears that Shantungosaurus may have been restricted to a small geographic area in Shandong Province, which was once home to river branching streams or fluvial fans. These natural features may have created physical barriers that this dinosaur was unable to navigate. Also, the bizarrely gigantic size reached upon maturity meant that Shantungosaurus was slow-moving and unable to migrate long distances like its smaller hadrosaur cousins.

Sinosauropteryx

Pronounced: SIGH-no-SOAR-OP-ter-ix
Name Means: Chinese winged lizard
Diet: Carnivore (meat eater)
Period: Early Cretaceous (125 million years ago)
Fossils Found: China
Weight: 1 to 2 pounds
Animatronic Size: 7 feet long x 3 feet wide x 4 feet high (actual size 2 to 3 feet long)
In 1996, a Sinosauropteryx fossil was found in China. It was the first feathered dinosaur discovered and it changed the way scientists look at dinosaurs and birds.
Its many sharply pointed, serrated teeth were capable of eating small prey whole and could tear the flesh of larger prey.
Sinosauropteryx had the longest tail in relation to its size of any theropod.
Some scientists believe that clues to the animal’s true color can be found in its fossilized remains.

Spinosaurus


Pronounced: SPY-nuh-SOAR-us
Name Means: Spine lizard
Diet: Carnivore (meat eater)
Period: Late Cretaceous (112 million to 97 million years ago)
Fossils Found: North Africa
Weight: 14,000 to 20,000 pounds
Animatronic Size: 22 feet long x 4 feet wide x 9 feet high (juvenile) (adults could reach between 40 and 60 feet long)
Spinosaurus is the largest of all known carnivorous dinosaurs.
Like a crocodile, Spinosaurus has a long snout and a mouth filled with sharp, straight teeth.
Scientists believe Spinosaurus lived in swamps and marshes and ate fish.
Spinosaurus had spines and a sail on its back, which may have been used to cool blood or attract mates.

Stegosaurus

Pronounced: STEG-uh-SOAR-us
Name Means: Roof lizard
Diet: Herbivore (plant eater)
Period: Late Jurassic (150 million years ago)
Fossils Found: North America
Weight: 6,000 to 7,000 pounds
Animatronic Size: 23 feet long x 5 feet wide x 10 feet high (actual size could reach up to 30 feet long)
This slow-moving plant eater had double rows of alternating bony plates along its back. The plates were attached to the skin rather than the spine and were most likely used for self-defense.
At the end of its tail, Stegosaurus had long spikes, which it used to defend itself.
Some believe the plates regulated heat and could blush red as part of a mating ritual or warning signal.
Its back legs were twice as long as its front legs.
Stegosaurus was not the most intelligent of the dinosaurs. It had the smallest brain of all species.
Stegosaurus had small, weak teeth, so it used gizzard stones to grind up food in its stomach.

Styracosaurus

Pronounced: stih-RAK-uh-SOAR-us
Name Means: Spiked lizard
Diet: Herbivore (plant eater)
Period: Late Cretaceous (77-75 million years ago)
Fossils Found: Canada (Alberta)
Weight: 6,000 pounds
Animatronic Size: 17 feet long x 4 feet wide x 7 feet high
Styracosaurus’s largest horn was nearly 2 feet long.
More than 50 different species of horned-faced dinosaurs have been discovered. Each species had a different frill and set of spikes on its head. When animals share a common feature for a long time period, it often means that the feature is very important to their survival.

Like other honed dinosaurs, the frill and horns are believed to help attract mates. It’s also thought that Styracosaurus may have used the spikes to jab the sides of attacking predators.


Triceratops


Pronounced: try-SAIR-uh-TOPS
Name Means: Three-horned face
Diet: Herbivore (plant eater)
Period: Late Cretaceous (65 million years ago)
Fossils Found: Western North America
Weight: 12,000 to 24,000 pounds
Animatronic Size: 26 feet long x 5 feet wide x 9 feet high
Despite its size, Triceratops was quite fast. However, rather than outrunning its predators, it may have used its sharp horns to defend itself.
Triceratops was the largest of the horned-face dinosaurs, sporting a skull with a magnificent frill of solid bone and three spikes.
Triceratops had the largest skull of any land animal—up to one-third its overall body length.

Tuojiangosaurus

Pronounced: tuh-HWANG-oh-SOAR-us
Name Means: Tuo River lizard
Diet: Herbivore (plant eater)
Period: Late Cretaceous (168 million years ago)
Fossils Found: China
Weight: 8,000 pounds
Animatronic Size: 23 feet long x 4 feet wide x 8 feet high
Like its Stegosaurus relatives, the most striking features of Tuojiangosaurus were the two rows of pointed plates running down its back and an intimidating spiked tail. Both features were initially believed to be defensive, but closer examination revealed the plates to be too porous to withstand the bite of large predators. Instead, the plates may have played an important role in attracting mates, identifying individuals, and collecting heat energy from the sun. Tuojiangosaurus had no teeth in the front of its mouth.



Tyrannosaurus rex

Pronounced: tuh-RAN-uh-SOAR-us rex
Name Means: King of the tyrant lizards
Diet: Carnivore (meat eater)
Period: Late Cretaceous (67 million to 65 million years ago)
Fossils Found: Western North America
Weight: 10,000 to 14,000 pounds

Animatronic Size: 47 feet long x 7 feet wide x 19 feet high (adult) and 16 feet long x 3 feet wide x 6 feet high (feathered juvenile) The largest Tyrannosaurus rex tooth on record is more than a foot long. This dinosaur had a mouthful of 50 serrated teeth, some more than 11 inches long. It could grow new, sharp teeth as old broken ones fell out. Of the 50 skeletons discovered so far, the oldest Tyrannosaurus rex (Sue) was just 28 years old when it died. Although Tyrannosaurus rex had tiny arms, muscle formations suggest its biceps could lift more than 430 pounds.

A Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton discovered in eastern Montana contains a protein necessary to create eggs. This protein is created only by ovulating females, proving the eastern Montana T. rex, known as B-rex, was female.
Recent research indicates that Tyrannosaurus rex juveniles were fast-growing animals. Between the ages of 14 to 18 years, teenagers may have gained up to 4.4 pounds per day. Tyrannosaurus rex may have been covered with fine downy feathers resembling hair. Feathers most likely developed to keep animals warm. As the dinosaur became larger, it was important to be able to quickly cool off. The down was shed before the animal reached adulthood.

Velociraptor

Pronounced: vuh-LOSS-ih-RAP-ter
Name Means: Swift thief
Diet: Carnivore (meat eater)
Period: Late Cretaceous (75 million to 71 million years ago)
Fossils Found: Mongolia, Russia, China
Weight: 15 to 30 pounds
Animatronic Size: 12 feet long x 2 feet wide x 5 feet high (actual size 6.5 feet long x 20 inches high)
Velociraptor was built for speed and quick moves. Most likely, this agile animal hunted in packs like wolves and orcas. It would use its large, infamous “killing claw” on its second toe to rip into the sides of its prey.
In 2007, researchers found evidence of feather attachments on the forearms of Velociraptor. Current research now shows that this dinosaur was probably warm-blooded and most likely had a downy or feathery coat to keep the heat and energy it needed to hunt.



only search Suburban Journals of Chicago Inc.




Suburban Journals of Chicago
published by Suburban Journals of  Chicago Inc.