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Dinosaurs arrive for new Zoo exhibit

FOREST PARK – A mixed herd of dinosaurs moved in at the St. Louis Zoo on Monday for a new, seasonal exhibit that opens April 17. The exhibit, called the Emerson Dinoroarus, will feature both animatronic and stationary dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures and will run through Oct. 31 at the old Children’s Zoo site.

A coelophysis emerges from a truck at the St. Louis Zoo on March 15, 2021, for the Emerson Dinoroarus exhibit.

The figures  represent a vast span of geological time, the zoo said Monday in a statement. Creatures  include a life-size triceratops; a 12-foot-tall Tyrannosaurus rex; a giant, stork-like quetzalcoatlus; an 18-foot-tall brachiosaurus; and a nest of duck-billed parasaurolophus babies.

There will also be a staged dig site where fans of fossils can uncover fun facts, and a trail with tropical plants. Visitors can learn about the connections between dinosaurs and today’s animals, various theories on why the dinosaurs died out, and ways to can help protect animals today from the same fate.

“Dinoroarus gives us a chance to talk about difficult topics like extinction and how some predecessors of dinosaurs, including turtles and crocodiles, are still with us, as well as how some descendants of dinosaurs, like birds, still grace our lives,” said Michael Macek, the zoo’s director. 

An utahraptor arrives at the St. Louis Zoo on March 15, 2021, for the Emerson Dinoroarus exhibit.

Some modern creatures with links or similarities to dinosaurs will occupy the exhibit as well. These include guinea fowl, North American river otters, Tasmanian devils, fish, moon jellies, sea stars, urchins, sponges, coral and anemones.

“Learning about dinosaurs is kind of like ‘CSI,’ using really old evidence,” Macek said. “Paleontologists ask questions about why certain dinosaurs moved to different places and why their food supplies or habitats were threatened. And those are exactly the kind of questions Zoo conservationists ask today in trying to save animals from extinction.”

This seasonal exhibit will be at the zoo for the next couple of years while the zoo works to reimagine, plan and redevelop the 3.5-acre area of the old Emerson Children’s Zoo into a new, permanent family and children’s area.

Dinoroarus  tickets and zoo reservations

Admission to Dinoroarus is $5.95 per person for ages 2 and up; free for children under age 2. Zoo members may use their member tickets or premium member tickets for admission to the attraction. Dinoroarus tickets may be purchased at Zoo entrances and attractions. 

All zoo visitors must make a free, timed reservation online in advance; daily attendance is limited to help maintain social distancing. 

Visit to make a reservation up to seven days prior to the date of visit.  Zoo reservations do not include tickets to Dinoroarus. 

Staff is home to The NorthSider and The SouthSider weekly community newspapers. The SouthSider publishes 25,000 copies every Tuesday. The NorthSider publishes 25,000 copies every Thursday. They are distributed at over 600 locations across St. Louis.

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