"Dinosaurs: Unextinct at the L.A. Zoo" Brings Dinosaurs to Life

Tyrannosaurus rex from "Dinosaurs: Unextinct" | Photo courtesy of L.A. Zoo
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Now on view through Oct. 31, 2016, Dinosaurs: Unextinct at the L.A. Zoo is an all-new, spectacular exhibit that brings 17 life-size animatronic creatures to life in a previously off-limits corner of the Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens. Highlights of this colossal adventure include a Fossil Dig, where visitors experience what it’s like to discover and interpret clues about these long-gone giants; a Stegosaurus robot with controls that guests can operate; a climbable Pachyrhinosaurus for an unforgettable selfie; and a free Dinosaurs: Unextinct augmented reality app that accesses special content, including 3-D views of all the dinosaurs.

Dinosaurs: Unextinct isn’t just about traveling to the past - it’s also about life on Earth in the present day. Modern animals share a host of similarities with dinosaurs, including the threat of extinction. You'll learn fascinating connections between dinos and L.A. Zoo residents, as well as ways you can join efforts to end extinction.

Entry to Dinosaurs: Unextinct at the L.A. Zoo is $5 per person in addition to regular Zoo admission, and free for children under age two.

Suchomimus from "Dinosaurs: Unextinct at the L.A. Zoo"
Suchomimus from "Dinosaurs: Unextinct at the L.A. Zoo" | Photo courtesy of Billings Productions

Guests embark on a self-guided stroll along a trail through lush landscaping similar to the earliest known trees and plants from the time dinosaurs roamed the earth, including ferns, cycads, conifers and ginkgos. Your face-to-face dinosaur encounters begin with a fierce Suchomimus, followed by a massive Brachiosaurus, whose 18-foot-long neck required a gigantic heart to pump blood up to the top.

Next, guests encounter two Coelophysis dinosaurs; a Citipati, which used its feathers to protect and warm its eggs, just like modern-day birds; and a Carnotaurus, a bipedal carnivore covered in small scales and bony lumps.

Edmontonia from "Dinosaurs: Unextinct at the L.A. Zoo"
Edmontonia from "Dinosaurs: Unextinct at the L.A. Zoo" | Photo courtesy of Billings Productions

More dinosaurs include an Edmontonia, an herbivore with heavy body armor to defend itself; the iconic Triceratops; and a Utahraptor, an alpha predator with an extra-long, sickle-shaped claw on each foot that it used to pin down and tear apart prey. Dinosaur families are represented by fast moving bipedal carnivores, Dilophosaurus and baby; and a Diabloceratops, its baby and a Diabloceratops nest. Finally, no dinosaur exhibit would be complete without a Tyrannosaurus rex, better known as a T-Rex, one of the largest and most powerful dinosaurs.

Stegosaurus from "Dinosaurs: Unextinct at the L.A. Zoo"
Stegosaurus from "Dinosaurs: Unextinct at the L.A. Zoo" | Photo courtesy of Billings Productions

Along the way, visitors will encounter a Fossil Dig, where they can brush away sand to uncover "bones" made from a fiberglass mold taken from an actual juvenile Maiasaura fossil. Another can't-miss stop is a Stegosaurus robot with controls that guests can operate to make the creature move; and a hashtag-worthy, dino-size photo op featuring a Pachyrhinosaurus, a striking-looking cousin of the Triceratops with huge, flattened growths over its nose.

The L.A. Zoo's dinosaurs are provided by Billings Productions, one of the few companies in the world that produces life-size, animatronic dinosaurs based on today’s best science for traveling and permanent exhibits.

"Dinosaurs: Unextinct" Augmented Reality

"Dinosaurs: Unextinct" Augmented Reality
"Dinosaurs: Unextinct" Augmented Reality | Screenshot courtesy of Geomedia

To enhance your experience, download the free Dinosaurs: Unextinct at the L.A. Zoo augmented reality app and interact with each dinosaur by “unlocking” an animated model when you point your digital device at a target image. Users can animate the dinosaur on their screen, take a dino quiz and then claim a small gift at the dino gift shop.

The app also features fact sheets and a bonus AR animal: the California Condor, a species that the L.A. Zoo is helping bring back from the brink of extinction. Guests can learn more at the interactive California Condor Rescue Zone indoor learning space, which is adjacent to the dinosaur exhibit and open every weekend plus weekdays throughout the summer. (Check www.lazoo.org for schedule.)