Dinosaurs start arriving at Mystic Aquarium

Mystic — The first of two shipments of large animatronic dinosaurs arrived at Mystic Aquarium on Tuesday morning as the aquarium continues work on a new $500,000 exhibit slated to open April 7.

Most came in one piece, while a few of the larger ones are in a few sections and need to be assembled. A large flying dinosaur hung from the ceiling of the former Institute for Exploration Building, the giraffe-like necks of several others stood on the ground, while the feet of a large tyrannosaurus rex sat in a corner. Tropical plants stood ready to be placed in the exhibit.

When operational, the dozen dinosaurs, some as long as 27 feet and as tall as 12 feet, will move and roar. Among the dinosaurs in “Jurassic Giants: A Dinosaur Adventure,” will be a stegosaurus and triceratops.

Large dioramas of Jurassic landscapes have been erected to display the dinosaurs along a trail that visitors will use to walk through the exhibit.

The dozen dinosaurs, which were built in China, arrived aboard a ship in New York Harbor and then were trucked to Mystic. The second shipment is slated for arrival Wednesday.

The building will continue to house the aquarium’s 4-D theater as well as popular exhibits featuring alligators and frogs and a hands-on experience called "Scales and Tails" that exist there now.

The aquarium has said the dinosaur exhibit is designed to enhance its guest experience and will allow the aquarium to present issues such as the impact of the destruction of the dinosaurs' habitat and how that connects with the effects that today’s loss of habitats and climate change have on animals and the need to protect those habitats.

"Jurassic Giants" will be on display for one year and will be included in a regular admission ticket.

j.wojtas@theday.com

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