The three-horned triceratops and the screeching pterosaur are among the life-sized creatures free to roam an interactive theme park opening in London this weekend.
Dinosaurs In The Wild, run by the makers of BBC TV series Walking With Dinosaurs in Greenwich until July, offers visitors not only a simulated safari, but also the chance to handle a tyrannosaurus rex tooth, sift through dino dung and witness the “birth” of a dakotaraptor.
The 70 minute experience will be transporting visitors 67 million years back to the late Cretaceous period.
Upon arrival at TimeBase 67, visitors will be greeted by a herd of dinosaurs roaming freely across the simulated safari.
The prehistoric adventure is a mix of scientific research, cutting-edge animatronics and scripted theatre.
Creative director Tim Haines told the Standard: “We all love spectacular wildlife and then there is this group of extraordinary animals that seem almost like fantasy monsters. There is a yearning to see them, to feel like they are present.”
Palaeontologist and scientific consultant Dr Darren Naish revealed 30 to 50 dinosaur species are still being discovered each year.
“New fossil are found so often that experts really struggle to keep up. Finding new dinosaur species isn’t difficult, you simply need to go to the right place,” Dr Naish said.
He added: “Dinosaurs are not extinct! Birds are literally living dinosaurs. A huge number of fossils show how feathered bird-like crow-sized dinosaurs evolved into the toothless big-brained flying dinosaurs – the birds of today.”
Other dinosaurs included are the towering earthmover Alamosaurus, the club-tailed Ankylosaurus and the giant winged predator Quetzalcoatlus said to be taller than a double-decker bus.
Previews start on Saturday, and tickets can be pre-booked at dinosaursinthewild.com.