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- Why aren’t the dinosaurs called “robotic” is there a difference between that and “animatronic”?
Animatronics is technology used to create machines that represent living things – it “animates” or brings figures to life. This technology is sometimes used in cases when a creature either no longer exists or cannot be presented in live form. Generally, plants and animals as well as prehistoric or mythical creatures are brought to life using animatronics.
- How do the dinosaurs work? Are they computerized? Hydraulic?
The animatronic dinosaurs in Extreme Dinosaurs are powered by customized mechanical technology and a dynamic jointing system – the movement is quiet, smooth and energy efficient. Computer software controls and synchronizes movement and sounds for each dinosaur.
- What makes this exhibition educational?
Extreme Dinosaurs features current paleontological science and presents opportunities for learning in a highly dynamic, immersive environment. The combination of animatronic dinosaurs, skeletons, fossils, interpretive content and interactive consoles allow guests to learn about dinosaur science at each step in the discovery process.
- How are the feathers applied on the feathered animatronic dinosaurs? What kind of feathers are they?
Each of the animatronic dinosaurs in the exhibition are crafted by hand – right down to the application of each individual feather. Both synthetic and real feathers are used and the specific lengths, colors and quantities (the number of tail feathers on a Velociraptor, for example) for each dinosaur is determined in consultation with a paleontologist.
- Other than the feathers, what other cool animatronic details can you describe?
The animatronic dinosaurs in Extreme Dinosaurs are unique precisely because they have been sculpted by master craftsmen – there are no molds used in the making of Extreme Dinosaurs. From the meticulous carving of the skin to show shape, texture and muscle form, right down to the air brushing of color and the dyeing of feathers each of the animatronic dinosaurs is created with care.
- Who did you collaborate with to determine the latest science about dinosaurs?
We worked closely with Dr. Xu Xing of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Science in Beijing to design our feathered animatronic dinosaurs and fossil collection. The illustrations were created in conjunction with Lida Xing, a paleontologist who has recently returned to the Chinese Academy of Sciences after a period of research and study under Dr. Phil Currie at the University of Alberta.
Also, our researcher and content writer has worked closely with Eric Snively, a paleontologist and assistant biology professor at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse, on all of our interpretive content.