Dinosaurs at the science museum and at the zoo

Two ongoing exhibits focus on dinosaurs, and are welcome fillers to the light summer schedule. Beyond the common theme of “Dinosaurs”, the two exhibits couldn’t be more different:

First off, there is “Dinosaurs in Motion” right here in downtown Raleigh. While this is hosted at the Science Museum, its approach is more artistic than scientific: The dinosaurs are large kinetic metal “sculptures inspired by actual fossils”. However, that doesn’t mean that the exhibit is any less impressive or interesting. As kinetic sculptor John Payne and creator of the dinosaurs says, “an exhibit like this is an alternative form of education”. The aim is not accurate physical representation, but a more visceral experience of these mighty beings, that reaches us on a emotional, personal level. On that note, with the giant, moving sculptures and the light and sound effects, it can be overwhelming for little kids or otherwise sensitive visitors. Here is a video and interview of the artist in the studio, which gives you a good idea about these sculptures. Dinosaurs in Motion is open from May 18 – September 8, 2013.

The second choice is the Dinosaurs Exhibit at the NC Zoo. I’m sure many innocent youngins have asked “Why are there no dinosaurs at the Zoo?”, and the NC Zoo replied “Good question!” The dinosaurs at the zoo are more lifelike, at least according to general (and evolving) assumptions. These animatrionic creations reminiscent of Jurassic Park have come a long way since Disney first came up with the concept in the 1960s. To get a good preview of what to expect at the NC Zoo, the video below shows the exhibit of the same manufacturer at a different zoo. The Dinosaurs are at the NC Zoo from April 1 – October 31, 2013. (If you’ve seen the exhibit in 2012, there are new and different dinosaurs this time around.)

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