The dinosaur has its day

06 March 2014

Dinosaur fans, prepare to be amazed – a spectacular exhibition is on its way with lifesize models and amazing special effects

A wide-eyed boy looks up in awe at the giant creature towering over him. The Tyrannosaurus rex’s yellow eyes peer down at the child who stands no higher than the beast’s ankle. Suddenly the dinosaur roars and lifts it’s short, sharp-clawed forearms.

This might sound like something from a movie but it will soon be a reality for South African dinosaur fans. For the first time you’re getting the chance to experience these prehistoric giants up close.

YOU, Huisgenoot and DRUM are bringing Days of the Dinosaur, an exhibition of more than 45 moving, roaring dinosaurs, to Johannesburg and Cape Town.

We bet you’ll spend hours marvelling at the amazing beasts. The organisers have created a 3 600-m2 prehistoric paradise for the exhibition, ensuring the moment you walk in you’ll be transported back 65 million years.

Much more exciting than museum fossils!

Instead of paging through a book or staring at millennia-old skeletons in a museum you can learn about dinosaurs as they were millions of years ago – alive

The exhibition has 12 scenes showing more than 45 dinosaurs in their natural environment. They react to one another’s movements, swing their tails, move their jaws, look around, flex their claws and roar. There’s also a T Rex skeleton so you can get a glimpse of what a dinosaur looked like on the inside.

The biggest of the models, of the famous T Rex, is 13m long. There’s also a 10-m lambeosaurus.

More than just fun

The Days of the Dinosaur exhibition is a recreational experience but it’s also educational and experts will lead visitors through the exhibition.

The artists who built the impressive beasts worked with palaeontologists to ensure they’re as lifelike as possible. The dinosaurs’ colours and their movement in the environments depicted are scientifically accurate.

Loads of interactive activities

Included in the ticket price is access to a sandpit where kids can discover their inner archaeologist by digging for replicas of bones. They can also visit an archaeological dig to learn how archaeologists search for fossils and stop at a drawing area where they can colour in dinosaur pictures to take home.

Other great activities on offer include face painting, dino rides, which aren’t included in the ticket price, and a dinosaur shop that sells toys and mementos.

Now you know!

The travelling exhibition was developed in Argentina and is coming to SA from Spain.

11 shipping containers are used to transport the show from country to country.

35 days – that’s how long the sea journey takes from Spain to SA.

The exhibition, which takes six days to put together, covers 3 600 m2

45 dinosaurs in the show are serviced by two people on duty 12 hours a day to ensure they work properly.

The details

When 20 June to 20 July: Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. 2 to 21 August: CTICC in Cape Town.

Price R140 for adults; R95 for children. Learners and families get discounts! School groups of more than 20 pay R85 each, their teacher gets in for free and they get their own tour guide. A family of four pays only R395. Tickets available at Computicket.

Click here to watch the video.

- Mieke Vlok

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