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Dublin Zoo's latest attraction is...dinosaurs

The new exhibit features ‘Stan’ a life-sized replica fossil skeleton of a male adult tyrannosaurus rex.

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

THERE’S SOMETHING A little unusual about Dublin Zoo’s latest addition.

We’re used to the Phoenix Park attraction announcing new arrivals – and they’re usually fluffy, alive and of the baby variety.

From tomorrow, however, there will be something different on offer.

Towering over the entrance to its brand new exhibit is Stan.

He is a life-sized replica T-rex skeleton, and the star of the new show – Zoorassic World.

Branded as the new home for reptiles past and present, the exhibition showcases fossils and life-sized models of dinosaurs alongside their living reptile counterparts.

“We wanted to create something that is a little bit more meaningful,” Leo Oosterweghel, director of Dublin Zoo, told TheJournal.ie.

While restoring an old building from 1902 for reptile collection there, the zoo soon realised it could add something special to the exhibit.

Enter the dinosaurs.

Stan, who was modeled off the actual fossil skeleton of a T-rex dug up in South Dakota, stands over three metres tall and weighs almost 9 tonnes.

Dublin Zoo reptile expert Garth De Jong says he is in ‘awe’ of Stan and expects visitors will feel the same.

“This exhibit is close to my heart because I’m a dinosaur nut,’ he says.

He adds Zoorassic World is about ‘interaction’, with visitors being able to touch and feel different fossils, do their own dinosaur bone excavations and view the many different animals species who call the exhibition home.

The creators have also taken great care to simulate the different rainfalls and sun cycles of each individual animal, building their own irrigation systems so that the animals can develop and live healthily.

Twelve different species, including West African crocodiles and green tree pythons, currently reside in Zoorassic World, many of them part of international breeding programmes for endangered species.

The permanent exhibition opens tomorrow.

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