Audubon Dinosaur Adventure

By: Brenda, Director of Education and Volunteers, Audubon Zoo
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I was not a dinosaur geek when I was a kid many years ago.  We all had a nerdy kid in class that was though. My third grade class had John Jackson.  He would sit and draw dinosaurs and correctly pronounce their long names.  John was a little weird.  Dinosaurs didn’t really get cool until “Jurassic Park”.  That was a great movie that, for the first time, had humans feeling what it would be like to live in the dinosaur days. 

Most kids now think dinosaurs are awesome.  We find out new facts about them every day and they are much more interesting than we ever imagined.  They are bigger, smarter and more colorful than what the first paleontologists told us years ago.  They certainly have my interest and as I walk through the Audubon Dinosaur Adventure here at the zoo it is very easy for my very vivid imagination to pretend that they are real.  I stand under the 20+ foot tall T-Rex (its body could cover the entire width of a tennis court and those tiny arms could have bench-pressed two adult humans at once with just a single arm!) and watch him roar-pretend feeling his hot breath in my face. I will tickle the belly of the Brachiosaurus and wish that I could ride on him.  (One of the largest dinosaurs of all time, Brachiosaurus could have towered over most four-story modern office buildings today.)

 I walk through the misty dino building and think of hiding places to get away from the Deinonychus there to kill me (He was only as big as a two-passenger compact car, but was one of the world’s deadliest dinosaurs!). I love the Audubon Dinosaur Adventure.  If you go in there with the right attitude you can transport yourself to a time many years ago and stand next to a creature that can be very lifelike. 

National Fossil Day is October 13.  We are going to celebrate it at the Audubon Dinosaur Adventure on October 16 and 17th.  This is an opportunity to explore, learn and protect paleontological resources. Zoo educators will be there helping you make fossils, giving chats and sharing our love of dinosaurs.  Come join us from 11-2 each day. The dino garden gives you a great feel for the natural environment of the dinosaurs and you can get some GREAT photos.

 I am still not a real dino nerd.  I don’t know all the scientific names and features of every dinosaur, but I love learning about them and pretending what life would be like if I could go back in time and walk with them.  Come join me in the Audubon Dinosaur Adventure for National Fossil Day on the 16th and 17th.

I wonder if John Jackson is now a 50 year old "dinosaur geek" or a really cool paleontologist....