Animatronic dinosaurs roam Brookfield Zoo in Dinosaurs Alive! exhibit

April 3, 2013 3:30:29 PM PDT
Travel back in time -- about 200 million years -- at Brookfield Zoo. Dinosaurs Alive! returns- bigger and better than ever.

Brookfield Zoo says scientific discoveries have made this exhibit of 24 animatronic dinosaurs more realistic than it was four years ago.

"It is because of science. Science of dinosaurs has changed. So people are going to learn a lot about new discoveries with dinosaurs," Andre Copeland, Brookfield Zoo programs manager, said.

The company that created the exhibit, Dinosaurs Unearthed, has been able to improve the animatronics of the creatures. The dinosaurs are now more natural. And the sound is better. And the color? That's more accurate, too. As impossible as it might seem, it is now possible to pinpoint dinosaur colors.

"They were able to find it left over in some soft tissue in the feathers of the dinosaurs. They were able to find out the exact colors based on that material." Jamie Zitz-Stumbris, Brookfield Zoo Interpretive Programs, said.

Scientists say dinosaurs first appeared on earth around 240 million years ago. Then, 65 million years ago they disappeared. Until now.

Four years ago, the exhibit had no mention of dinosaurs and feathers -- but now it's a big part of the show. For the past 20 years or so the evidence has been growing. Dinosaurs and our neighborhood birds are related.

"A lot of the dinosaurs that we grew up playing with toys of and saw in films ... We now know they are directly related to birds. They have three toes on their feet, run on two legs, and have feathers," Andre Copeland said.

The show runs through October 27th and is an additional charge.