Exhibitions of robotic dinosaurs seem to be back on the upswing. They were very popular when I was growing up but have been harder to find in recent years. According to reports released over the weekend, however, zoos in Cleveland and New Orleans will be featuring the jerking, growling robot dinosaurs this summer.
This past weekend, the New Orleans Audubon Zoo opened their "Dinosaur Adventure" exhibit. It features 16 dinosaurs such as the old favorites Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops as well as some newer robots like Giganotosaurus. Hard-core paleo fans will still be able to complain that the theropods are holding their hands wrong and that the raptors are not covered in feathers, though.
The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo will open a similar exhibit in May featuring many of the same animatronic dinosaurs. (The dinosaurs for both zoos are being supplied by Billings Productions.) I think the Metroparks Zoo press office might have overhyped one of their dino stars a little bit, though. One section of the press release for the exhibit reads;
Along the beautiful shores of Waterfowl Lake, DINOSAURS! 2009 features species of beasts never before displayed at the Zoo—including the Edmontosaurus, with its thousands of razor-sharp teeth...
Edmontosaurus did have a mouth packed with sharp little teeth, but they were used for eating plants. Indeed, this dinosaur was a hadrosaur. Given that I have only ever heard the phrase "razor sharp" in referring to the teeth of carnivores, though, I got the distinct mental image of a bloodthirsty Edmontosaurus chasing after smaller dinosaurs in the attempt to get a snack.