lions and ?dinosaurs? and bears, oh my!

Never mind the technicality that a zoo usually houses live animals and dinosaurs have been extinct for a few millennia...

On Labor Day we spent a little time getting to know the dinosaurs that are temporarily making their home in the woods at the NC Zoo.

one we got to know a bit better than the others ~ ride 'em t'rex!
Where there are meat eating dinosaurs and my dino-loving boys, there is sure to be entertainment!

We spent adequate time gazing at the buffalo (yes, I know they are actually bison, but who really calls them that), dropped quarters in the viewfinders to study the elephants and the rhinos in a bit more detail, and cooed over the baby gorillas and chimpanzees.  But that was all a drop in the bucket compared to coming face to face with a brachiosaurus.  They all ~ Daniel in particular ~ were in such a state of awe at the sheer size of the thing that they couldn't stop waving to it.

the kids were so far in front of it that you don't get the full scale effect
There was an education aspect to the display where we saw maps of where dinosaur remains have been found, learned about how paleontologists do their jobs, and got to touch some replicas of vertebrae, teeth and claws.

my silly big girl when asked what kind of noise a therizinosaurus (she's touching a replica of one's claw) would make

The learning tent was fun and we spent a decent amount of time explaining pictures to the kids who listened eagerly.

But that education tent couldn't hold a candle to a moving triceratops.

And certainly didn't get the second glances that the Tyrannosaurus Rex demanded.

I'll admit.  That joker was a bit intimidating when he roared and then stared me down.

The exhibit was done well with just enough information (read "not too much") about each species of dinosaur to keep the kids interested.  For example, did you know that brontosaurus and apatosaurus are actually the same dinosaur?  Turns out paleontologists  had not kept great records and it was first discovered and named apatosaurus.  Later when another one was discovered a different paleontologist named it brontosaurus.  Whatever scientists want to call it, my boys were especially drawn to this one.

yes, this photo included primarily because they are holding hands ~ voluntarily.  melt this momma's heart!
While there is no scientific evidence to support that the dilophosaurus actually spit venom to blind its prey (thank you Jurassic Park) the creators of the display added a fun water feature to this breed.  While it may appear that Ky and DQ are taunting this ferocious carnivore, they are actually simply asking for a cooling spray of water.

for the record, mr. dilophosaurus delivered...
Toward the end the girls were just about dinoed out.  So they started getting silly...

dancing amid the herbivore food (ferns)
After we watched our last dinosaur and heard the last roar, it was time to dig for our own bones...

...and then to make a quick get away before the vicious T-Rex attacked.

not sure if Ky's expression was more about potentially becoming dinner for a hungry t-rex or of actually surviving the get-away ride based on who was at the wheel

I do have a confession to make.  We let our kids play on the zoo playground for about 30 minutes in the pouring-down rain.  Experience of being caught in a sudden torrential downpour a few hours from home at the zoo before had us grabbing a change of clothes for everyone in the family before we headed out.  

Combine a day of dinosaurs AND getting soaked (without getting told to come under the shelter to stay dry) and what do you have?

Apparently a M kids' dream come true.  

Not sure any other trip to the zoo will ever be able to top this one...


Traci said...

oh we need to get up there before that exhibit closes! Look awesome!

Andrea said...

Oh no Kristi! I can totally see it in the last photo of this bunch. Daniel is absolutely getting bigger! He really looks four (which for the record is my favorite age). Ky's expression on the jeep is hilarious too!

Julie said...

What an awesome zoo trip! I have a 4 year old who would LOVE to see those dinos....they look huge!