Sponsored by Sendik’s Food Markets
The dinosaurs are returning to the Milwaukee County Zoo for this year’s summer exhibit, “Expedition Dinosaur,” sponsored by Sendik’s Food Markets. Make plans to see these life-size replicas, moving and rumbling in their outdoor habitat, May 23 through September 7.
More than 20 robotic creatures (most including sound effects!) will inhabit a tropical locale, courtesy of the Zoo’s horticulture staff, which re-creates a prehistoric land, complete with flora and fauna similar to what grew during the time period.
New dino guests, not seen before in this exhibit, include the 1.5 ton, 15-foot long, diabloceratops, which lived during the Late Cretaceous Period, 80 million years ago. This primitive ceratopsid (a dinosaur with horns on its brows) sported more horns than any ceratopsid that came after it. Later ceratopsids most likely had fewer horns because breaking horns was detrimental to survival. More horns meant more horn-related injuries.
Another new inhabitant, the citipati, is a dinosaur exhibiting bird-like behaviors. It had feathers and lived in dune fields. Several fossils of the citipati showed it shading its eggs with its wings. This might have meant the animal was protecting its clutch during a sandstorm, when it was buried in blowing dune sands and later fossilized.
Back for a return engagement, don’t miss the ever-popular saliva spitting dilophosaurus. (Don’t tell anyone, but it’s really just water!) Also returning this year, you’ll find a sand pit dig box where kids can search for fossils. Kids can even get their picture taken in front of (or on) a T. rex!
Meet the mighty stegoceras, with its thick, dome-shaped skull. It was first thought this skull was used to ram heads with other stegocerases, like bighorn sheep. Newer research suggests stegoceras’ neck was too long to support head ramming. It probably swung its neck and smashed its head against its foes.
“Expedition Dinosaur,” sponsored by Sendik’s Food Markets, is open daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The exhibit is located behind the Small Mammals Building. Admission is $2.50 per person, after regular Zoo admission.