Dinosaur Safari Sets Up Camp at the Bronx Zoo for Summer

May 23, 2013

More than 20 life-like animatronic dinosaurs hide in beautifully planted foliage for a fully immersive experience.

The dinosaurs’ big debut is finally here—our new exhibit opens Saturday, May 25. Dinosaur Safari includes more than 20 life-like animatronic dinosaurs that snarl, roar and spit.

The narrated ride runs through a two-acre area of the zoo and highlights the physical and behavioral adaptations many prehistoric species share with modern-day wildlife. A guide helps identify the dinosaurs and explains how animals at the zoo use similar adaptations to survive in the wild.

Dinosaur Safari starts in the Permian period, which began about 300 million years ago, and ends in the Cretaceous, which ended 65 million years ago. Featured species include favorites like a 40-foot long Tyrannosaurus rex, a species that was an apex predator much like the lions on our African Plains; and Brachiosaurus, an herbivore that used its long neck to feed from treetops like a giraffe. Other lesser-known species on the safari include Pachycephalosaurus, a dinosaur that may have used its thick skull to battle for territory and females as American bison do; and Coelophysis, an effective pack hunter like spotted hyenas.

The safari route includes shrubs and trees that transport visitors to the periods of time showcased. Some of the greenery includes monkey puzzle and gingko trees and cycads that date back 300 million years to the Permian period. Ferns show up in the Jurassic period; the magnolias, palms, and laurel in the Cretacious period.