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OMSI exhibit dinosaurs roar to life

by: PHOTOS COURTESY OF OMSI - OMSIs Dinosaurs Unearthed exhibit brings to life dinosaurs, animatonically, including the Yangchuanosaurus and Allosaurus (right).Dinosaurs are popular. Maybe it’s because they’re extinct, and it’s not like we can see footage of them running in the wild on CNN or Fox News.

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry brought us the “China’s Ancient Giants” and Samson the T. Rex exhibits in the past, and now with “Dinosaurs Unearthed,” the prehistoric creatures will be moving their arms and legs and tails, blinking, breathing, snarling and roaring around our children.

“Dinosaurs Unearthed,” which opens May 23 and goes through Sept. 2 at OMSI, 1945 S.E. Water Ave., features animatronic models of dinosaurs — 15 in all — set in natural-looking indoor landscapes, as well as some complete skeletons and fossils. It’s meant to depict, in a multi-sensory and dynamic and interactive way, how the dinosaurs lived and looked during prehistoric times. A team of “paleo-artists” built the animatronic dinosaurs, using the best collected data from paleontologists.

“Dinosaurs are intriguing subjects that provide rich opportunities for science learning,” says Nancy Stueber, OMSI president. “We couldn’t be more excited.”

A school of thought now has some dinosaurs covered in feathers and ancestors to birds. One highlight will be the feathered Tyrannosaurus rex juvenile, which may have been covered in feathers from its hatching through adolescence.

Tickets to the exhibit are $13 for adults (free to members), and $9.50 for youth (3 to 13 years old) and seniors (63 and older). Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays; it’ll be open till 7 p.m. starting June 14.

Reptilian monsters are all the rage, what with the movie “Godzilla” hitting the big screen last week. “Dinosaurs Unearthed” won’t be the only beast-themed attraction at OMSI. There’ll be:

• Reel Science: “Jurassic Park,” 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. June 11

• OMSI After Dark: “Bones,” 7 to 11 p.m., June 25

• Empirical Theater showings, beginning May 23, of “Dinosaurs Alive 3D,” “Flying Monsters 3D” and “Sea Monsters 3D”

For more info: www.omsi.edu.

— Jason Vondersmith