Clever Customers Show off their Jurassic Park Building Skills

We are always pleased to hear from our customers and it never ceases to amaze us how creative and clever they are.  Take Mark from Essex (England), for example, he wanted to build a play set for his dinosaur mad son.  Purchasing a play set can be quite expensive and we have tested quite a few with our young dinosaur fans, but sometimes it can be better to create one yourself.  It is certainly cheaper and you don’t have to be Steven Spielberg to create your very own “Jurassic Park”.

The Dinosaur Land Made by Mark

Getting creative and making dinosaur play sets.

Getting creative and making dinosaur play sets.

Mark set about making a dinosaur landscape complete with erupting volcano and a waterfall.  There are lots of habitats for his son’s dinosaurs and prehistoric animal figures to explore.

Water a place where dinosaurs congrugated.

Water a place where dinosaurs congrugated.

Creating a pond or other water source as part of the dinosaur play set makes a lot of sense.  A number of dinosaur species would have congregated around water sources such as lakes and ponds, especially during the dry season.  Herbivores would have been attracted to the area as there would probably have been plenty of lush vegetation for them to eat.  Predatory dinosaurs would have staked out the water source in the hope of ambushing an unwary plant-eater.  The ground that was churned up by all the dinosaurs as they walked over the area even has a special name – dinoturbation!

The creatures swimming in the water come from the Prehistoric Sealife Toob, (Safari Ltd), a set of ten prehistoric animal models which was supplied by Everything Dinosaur. This detailed model set includes a turtle-like Placodont called Henodus, plus Elasmosaurs and even a model of a prehistoric whale.

As Mark says himself:

“The Park didn’t cost me anything – only wallpaper paste for the papier mache, the wood is natural, the rocks real and the trees are eucalyptus stems.”

It was very inventive of Mark to use stones and natural wood to make his prehistoric scene that more authentic.  It was interesting to note that Mark chose to use eucalyptus stems in his dinosaur land.  Intriguingly, the eucalyptus family are a very ancient group.  Fossils discovered recently in South America indicate that this tree, now strongly associated with Australia, may actually have first evolved in Argentina.  Whether there were ancient true eucalypts around during the Age of Reptiles is uncertain but the ancestors of the eucalypts probably would have been part of the Late Cretaceous landscape.

To read more about ancient eucalyptus trees: Fossils Show the Origins of Eucalyptus Trees

In addition, Mark decided to add an erupting volcano to his dinosaur landscape.  The papier mache volcano has been painted with lots of red to indicate lava flows – very creative.

Volcanic Eruption in the Land of the Dinosaurs

An active volcano in the dinosaur landscape

An active volcano in the dinosaur landscape.

Making such a play set is relatively easy, it just takes a little planning and time.  It can be great fun to involve your young palaeontologist in the project, especially when it comes to painting or moulding the rocks and other features.  Best of all you dinosaur land is unique, there is not one in the world quite like it – your own portrayal of life in prehistoric times.

For help and advice on how to make dinosaur play sets, check out this article written by Everything Dinosaur team members, a step by step guide to building a dinosaur themed landscape.

How to build your own “Jurassic Park” – a cheat’s guide: Create your own Table Top Jurassic Park

With the Easter holidays coming up, this might be just the thing to keep your young dinosaur fans occupied.

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