A huge carnivore that would have roamed the UK and one of the largest dinosaurs that ever lived are among a set of new arrivals at Chester Zoo – as keepers get ready to turn back the clock more than 250 million years.
Twenty-three life-like robotic dinosaurs have stomped into the zoo for a new exhibition, which runs from 28 May – 4 September.
Featuring realistic movements and sounds, the hi-tech scaly creatures are the stars of Dinosaurs! The Next Adventure, the biggest exhibition ever staged at the zoo.
Visitors will be relieved to discover that the terrifying carnivore Baryonyx – whose home is thought to have been the land which now forms the UK – was one of the very few dinosaurs whose diet consisted solely of fish.
The sight of the enormous life sized Giganotosaurus – the largest dinosaur ever to roam Chester Zoo – will not be so comforting.
Visitors will discover the water spitting, roaring dinosaurs hiding among a dense forest like environment – including tree ferns that date back to the Triassic period and palms that first appeared on the Earth during the late Cretaceous period.
The arrival of dinosaurs that disappeared from the planet millions of years ago serves as an important reminder about the threat of extinction faced by many species today, such as the Eastern black rhino, Sumatran orangutan and Sumatran tiger.
The zoo is also working with the Grosvenor Museum, Big Heritage and BID, to unveil a range of dinosaur activities throughout the summer in Chester.
Charlotte Smith, head of discovery and learning, said:
“Dinosaurs roamed the earth for more than 160 million years, and now they’re back!
“They have always fascinated both young and old alike because of their sheer size and the mystique and wonderment that surrounds them.
“This exhibition is going to be the biggest we’ve ever staged with our new arrivals including the Giganotosaurus, one of the largest carnivores ever to walk the planet, the Utahraptor with its curved claws and feathery limbs, and the Brachiosaurus, a plant eating gentle giant.
“Although the dinosaurs are a lot fun, we hope that they help us to raise awareness of a very real threat that many of the species here at the zoo face in the wild – extinction. The very last thing we want is for future generations to only be able to see animatronic rhinos, elephants, orangutans and lions because they too have disappeared – so it’s vital that we help save them now whilst we still have the opportunity.”
Dinosaurs! The Next Adventure is free with normal zoo admission and opens on Saturday 28 May and will run every day until Friday 2 September 2016.
The exhibition is sponsored by Darwin Escapes.