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Bronx Zoo transforming into a modern day Jurassic Park

 

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Dinosaur Safari, a robot exhibit featuring a 7,000 pound Tyrannosaurus Rex, open Memorial Day weekend.NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi

NORMAN Y. LONO/NORMAN Y. LONO

RUN FOR COVER: A 7,000 pound Tyrannosaurus Rex and his buddies are invading the Bronx Zoo Memorial Day weekend.

The Bronx Zoo is becoming a regular Jurassic Park.

Zoo workers unloaded more than two dozen animatronic dinosaurs Monday, including a 7,000-pound Tyrannosaurus Rex, for a new exhibit that will take New Yorkers to the Cretaceous and beyond.

Dinosaur Safari opens Memorial Day weekend.

The life-sized synapsids, saurischians, theropods and others traveled to the Bronx in three 53-foot-long tractor trailers from Allen, Tex., where they are designed and manufactured by Billings Productions.

The company is bringing dinosaurs back from extinction at 20 sites around the world this year.

The robotic exhibit, called Dinosaur Safari, will educate as well as entertain accroding to the Bronx Zoo's head curator.

NORMAN Y. LONO/NORMAN Y. LONO

The robotic exhibit, called Dinosaur Safari, will educate as well as entertain according to the Bronx Zoo’s head curator.

This is the first time the big beasts have ventured into the Big Apple.

“It is our largest show this year,” said Robby Gilbert, who is overseeing the Bronx installation for Billings Productions.

“It should be phenomenal.”

Up to 40 feet long and 25 feet tall, the realistic-looking dinosaurs have flexible urethane rubber skin and steel frames. They move their limbs, heads and tails. They gnash their jaws and make plenty of noise.

“It’s all roars, hisses and growls,” Gilbert said. “It has the potential to be an extremely loud exhibit.”PUT THAT ANYWHERE: Workers unload the massive robotic look-a-likes.

NORMAN Y. LONO/NORMAN Y. LONO

PUT THAT ANYWHERE: Workers unload the massive robotic look-a-likes.

Zoo workers pulled on straps attached to wheeled platforms to haul each beast to their new outdoor home early Monday.

“We’re dinosaur wranglers,” one zoo employee beamed. “Woo-hoo!”

“Watch the tail!” another worker shouted as one massive dinosaur’s hindquarters passed dangerously close by.

Thrill-seekers will be towed through the 2-acre site on wagons for a 20-minute ride that simulates a trip 200 million years into the past. The exhibit runs all summer.

Artificial animals might seem anathema to a zoo, but Wildlife Conservation Society officials said visitors can learn from Dinosaur Safari.The life-sized synapsids, saurischians, theropods and others traveled to the Bronx in three 53-foot-long tractor trailers from Allen, Tex.

NORMAN Y. LONO/NORMAN Y. LONO

The life-sized synapsids, saurischians, theropods and others traveled to the Bronx in three 53-foot-long tractor trailers from Allen, Tex.

“It will be educational,” said Pat Thomas, the zoo’s head curator.

“We will highlight adaptations that the dinosaurs have, and compare them to similar adaptations in modern species at the zoo.”

Dinosaurs first appeared some 230 million years ago. Scientists have identified nearly a thousand species from every continent.

The largest dinosaurs were the tallest creatures to ever walk the Earth.

If an asteroid hadn’t wiped them out 65 million years ago, dinosaurs might still rule the Earth, as they did for 160 million years.

The first human ancestors only emerged about 2 million years ago — descendents of the early mammals that finally thrived after the dino dominators were gone.

The Bronx Zoo is launching an online poll this week at bronxzoo.com/dinovote, in which New Yorkers can vote for their favorite dinosaur species and win free admission.

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