Take the Family to Dinosaurs Unleashed in London (Easter Holiday Idea)

The clocks have gone forward, we are now basking in British Summer Time (BST) and with the longer daylight and the kids off school for the Easter holiday why not take a trip to London to take in the sights, do a bit of shopping and visit Dinosaurs Unleashed in Oxford Street.

Dinosaurs Unleashed is the UK’s largest fully animatronic, life-sized dinosaur experience with over 24 full-size dinosaurs, located in the heart of London on Oxford Street.  One of our team members had the opportunity to visit this memorable attraction early one morning, before it was open to the public, a sort of sneak preview of this Mesozoic attraction.

Getting up Close to a Stegosaurus

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The picture shows a life-size, animatronic model of that Jurassic favourite Stegosaurus.  The Mesozoic garden has been laid out in such a way that if you walk around it in an anti-clockwise direction you are following the history of the evolution of plant life through the Mesozoic.  Starting with cycads, seed ferns and horsetails, the backdrop to the huge prehistoric animal models slowly changes, mimicking the evolution of plant life.  By the time visitors have reached the far end of the garden, close to the Deinosuchus (giant crocodile) lurking in the lagoon, they will see a plethora of plants, including flowering ones; these represent fauna at the very end of the Cretaceous.  Keen gardeners will be surprised to learn that many of the shrubs, bushes and flowers that they cultivate in their own back gardens have origins from the time of dinosaurs.  The ancient ancestor of that prize cutting brought back from the garden centre may once have been munched upon by a duck-billed dinosaur.

The biggest model on display is that of Diplodocus, at three times the length of a double-decker bus, it is a truly impressive beast.

Close up of the head of Diplodocus

Diplodocus Unleashed

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

It is when you get close to such a huge model that you can really appreciate the size and scale of some of these long extinct creatures.  The children that had begun to congregate around the Diplodocus exhibit were full of wonder and very excited at coming face to face with this long-necked giant.  At this point, our member of staff got rather way laid as he was bombarded with questions about Diplodocus and the other dinosaurs on show.  The Dinosaurs Unleashed staff also asked lots of interesting questions.  Questions such as how do we know what colour dinosaurs were?  What sounds did they make?  How did we know what the arrangement of the armoured plates on the back of Stegosaurus was like?   Our expert did his best to answer the many and varied questions, as for the query regarding the plates on a Stegosaurus, a clue to the answer he gave can be found in the exhibit itself, can anyone spot the hint at the layout of the Stegosaurus plates that is found within the Dinosaurs Unleashed Mesozoic garden?

Causing much amusement amongst the staff was the sight of some ducks, happily going about their business in the midst of the giant dinosaur models.  How ironic that these small birds should visit the Diplodocus and share the pond.  After all, last year, scientists in China reported finding the oldest fossil of a toothless bird to date.  At 120 million years old, this type of feathered friend would have come across many a long-necked dinosaur as it waddled its way around the early Cretaceous forests of China.

To read more about this recent discovery: An Ancient Duck – Oldest Bird with Toothless Jaw Found to Date

There was plenty of good quality of information available on the prehistoric animals featured, although the name Leedsichthys, the huge plankton feeding, Jurassic giant fish was spelt wrong, a shame because the Jurassic aquarium with its realistic marine reptiles and ammonites was a joy to watch.  I am sure that the many young dinosaur fans that visit the attraction will learn a lot.

Dinosaurs Unleashed has been extended to the 3rd of May, but time is running out to catch the prehistoric animals in all their majesty.  If you want an exciting and fun filled activity for the Easter holidays then visit Dinosaurs Unleashed, it will appeal to both young and old alike.

For updates on dinosaur exhibitions, check out the Everything Dinosaur blog.

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