Dinosaurs Live! (end)+ Back

Dinosaurs Live! is an exhibition being held at the Venetian until October 1st 2013.  Tickets are $80 for adults and $50 for children, while hotel guests get 10% off and Sands Rewards members 20%. 

 

large dinosaur skeleton inside the Venetian shopping arcade

Going in, I really had high expectations for this exhibition.  Since it's aimed for kids, I expected Dinosaurs Live! to lean heavily on cutting edge science and technology, producing an experience that would both enthral and captivate children, as well as teach them something at the same time.  I thought back to lame exhibitions I saw when I was 8 years old and expected Dinosaurs Live! to blow them away easily.

Unfortunately everything inside Dinosaurs Live! looks like it could have been produced in 1986.  All they had were about 30 model dinosaurs on display, replicated to size, which would sometimes move their head or open their jaws.  Under each dinosaur was an introduction listing general facts like when and where it lived, and how big it was.

I don't know how much benefit children can get from the exhibition.  There is no interaction, cool simulations or anything to really grab the attention of a generation brought up on iPads and 3D TV sets.  Furthermore, the only way to get an in depth understanding of each dinosaur was to read the information card underneath it, and I don't know how many 8 or 9 year olds have the wherewithal or attention span to do that.  All they could probably glean from the exhibition is that dinosaurs are big and kind of scary looking, which they already knew already.

 

On the flip side, tickets are less than $10 US, which is not a steep price to pay for a 30 minute family oriented diversion in a city that doesn't give children enough things to do.  Unfortunately, it could have been a lot better.

Here then are some pics for your viewing pleasure along with a brief introduction about the more interesting dinosaurs I saw:

 

model of a stegosaurus at Dinosaurs Live Venetian Macao exhibitionStegosaurus: Stegosaurus means "plated lizard".  Check out the horns on its tail, they could really inflict a lot of damage in a fight.  Since Stegosaurus only ate vegetables it probably spent most of its day eating.  Up to 9 metres long, it weighed two to three tons.
 

model of a pachycephalosaurus at Dinosaurs Live Venetian Macao exhibitionPachycephalosaurus: Here's a dinosaur that doesn't look so tough, I don't know how it would attack or defend itself in a fight.  So it has a hard head?  So what?  So do I!
 

 

 

model of a triceratops at Dinosaurs Live Venetian Macao exhibitionTriceratops: With three long protruding horns and armor covering its neck, this dinosaur looks like it could attack and defend well.  Up to 9 metres long and weighing 9 tons, it had to have been one powerful mother. I wouldn't want one of these things charging at me.
 

model of a styracosaurus at Dinosaurs Live Venetian Macao exhibitionStyracosaurus: Compared to Triceratops, this dinosaur only had 1 horn on its head, instead of 3.  It also had armour covering the neck, along with 6 spikes.  Much smaller than Triceratops, it was only 5 metres long and weighed up to 3 tons.  Maybe that's why it travelled in packs, so it always had help defending itself.
 

model of two Tyrannosaurus Rex at Dinosaurs Live Venetian Macao exhibitionTyrannosaurus Rex: Look at the jaws on that.  This is one dinosaur that you don't want to get on the wrong side of.  Up to 13 metres long and 5 metres high, the "tyrant lizard" is one of the largest meat eating animals to ever walk the Earth.  Its mouth alone was 1.3 meters long and had 50 to 60 teeth that were 20 cms long.  It was big enough to take a Triceratops down, which couldn't have been easy, considering the Triceratops weighed 9 tons itself and had those 3 big defensive horns. 
 

model of a dimetrodon at Dinosaurs Live Venetian Macao exhibitionDimetrodon: This is not actually a dinosaur, having gone extinct 40 million years before the first dinosaur appeared.  The magnificent sail on its back is thought to have helped it to regulate its body temperature, something cold blooded animals have great difficulty doing.
 

 

model of a diplodocus at Dinosaurs Live Venetian Macao exhibitionDiplodocus: A spectacular dinosaur, Diplodocus was 28 metres long and weighed 15 to 20 tons!!  To supply the massive body with blood and oxygen, it's estimated its heart weighed up to 1.5 tons.

 

 

model of a deinosuchus at Dinosaurs Live Venetian Macao exhibitionDeinosuchus: Related to the alligator, Deinosuchus was about 15 meters in length.  Scientists believe it could kill and eat large dinosaurs but also fed on smaller aquatic and terrestrial prey.  It could also carve out a nice life and probably lived up to 50 years.

 

 

 

One question I had after seeing the exhibition was why lizards and other earth animals grew so large during the dinosaur era, but never got that big again after they went extinct.  After searching online, the main reason seems to revolve around the climate.  When dinosaurs ruled the Earth, the Earth was warmer, and more conducive to support life.  Dinosaurs grew that large because the ecosystem and food chain could support animals that big.  That wasn't the case the second time around, so that's why we have to make do with giraffes and hippos, elephants and rhinos.  Blue whales, however, buck the trend.  They might be the biggest animals ever to have existed on Earth.

 

 

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