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Times Gone By- The Zoo of Yesterday!

Welcome to Times Gone By, the world’s best time travel fueled zoo! We pride ourselves on our diversity of prehistoric species, raised in state of the art habitats complete with enrichment to keep every animal active and engaged. While our zoo’s roster largely draws from the Mesozoic, we boast animals from every major time period, and we add more all the time. All of our exhibits are organized into sophisticated habitats, telling our planet’s story in a way you’ve never seen before. The following are just a preview of the wonders that you will find here, so be sure to visit and see everything we have to offer!

Headlining our “Rise of the Mammals” exhibit, this is Dory the Inostrancevia alexandri! Dory is related to mammals, but she only has limited control over her body’s temperature and enjoys basking on her favorite rock. At the hottest points of the daytime, however, she will likely be hiding in the shade of her den, so make sure to plan ahead if you want to see her!

In Rise of the Mammals, we bring our amazing ancestors right to you, with creatures like Sivatherium giganteum, Arsinoitherium zitteli, Andrewsarchus mongoliensis, Trirachodon berryi, Eohippus angustidens, Aegicetus gehennae, and Proconsul africanus, the first ape!

Our “Humble Beginnings” exhibit is full of early dinosaurs, of which Robby the Eoraptor lunensis is one of the earliest. This mouse is not part of his normal diet, but accidentally made its way into his habitat, drawing the attention of this opportunist. We try to avoid instances like this, because Eoraptors are omnivorous, so Robby’s meat intake must be balanced by plants for him to thrive.

In their original environment, Henrietta the Herrerasaurus ischigualastensis would have been one of Robby’s biggest threats, but now she only hunts her favorite chew toys. The largest dinosaurian predator of her time, Henrietta isn’t a theropod, but rather closer related to sauropods, just like Eoraptor. With our ability to directly test the DNA of these animals, we have made great leaps in understanding the taxonomy of the dinosaurs we work with.

Plateosaurus gracilis is the largest animal in the Humble Beginnings exhibit, although rather small compared to its later sauropod relatives. Peter is an adult male and shows it off with his iridescent neck scales. Winston is a juvenile, and is colored for camouflage. Plateosaurus adults live alone, and when Winston grows larger, he will have to be moved to his own enclosure or Peter will attack him as a rival. Plateosaurus males fight with their large hand claws and violent shoving, powerful enough to topple trees.

Unlike the other members of the Humble Beginnings exhibit, Dilophosaurus wetherilli lived in the early Jurassic, a time period completely ruled by dinosaurs. Our Dilophosaurus, Noah, here shows off his special breeding season meals. Dilophosaurus was the largest land predator of its time, but his favorite food is fish, especially when the wet seasons of his home period rose the waters higher than usual. He needs the extra nutrition they provide to make sure his crests are as vibrant as possible, showing it off with his famous strut. Noah also has an air sack on each crest that he can vibrate for noise. He is a spectacular dinosaur during the spring!

Kentrosaurus aethiopicus is one of the smallest stegosaurs, and therefore one of our most popular members of the “Dwarven Dinosaurs” exhibit is Shelly, here seen in her special feeding pen. Shelly has proven that her species is incredibly aggressive, so she is only fed from a trough outside of her pen, removing any need to enter her habitat. It seems that while male Kentrosaurus fought over mates, the females staked prime territory around sources of fresh water. Despite her aggression, her vibrant colors make her popular with visitors and staff alike.

At Dwarven Dinosaurs, you will also see Gargoyleosaurus parkpinorum, Europasaurus holgeri, and our Oryctodromeus cubicularis burrows.

Hell’s Aquarium contains our aquatic creatures, with a current focus on the Cretaceous but far more to come in the future. In the Cretaceous, there were no penguins, just Hesperornis regalis. These toothed birds spent most of their time at sea, and couldn’t even stand up, moving more like seals on land. This especially large male, Gunther, has stolen the fish bucket from his keeper and is defending it from his roost mates, despite it being empty.

Shannon the Prognathodon saturator is currently the largest predator in the park, at about 35 feet long. Unlike the dinosaurs of the park, she is actually a lizard, related to modern day snakes and monitor lizards. She enjoys watching humans and often bumps her nose into the side of her enclosure to get attention. Her skin has developed multiple patches of a species of barnacle that seems to only grow on mosasaur hides.

Be sure to see our other Hell’s Aquarium attractions such as our Archelon ischyros tank, complete with over a dozen contemporary species, including Ptychodus mortoni, Gillicus arcuatus, Pachyrizodus caninus, Dolichorhynchops osborni, Nakonanectes bradti, and several fish unknown to the fossil record before they were found through time travel.

On the edge of Hell’s Aquarium is the “Primordial Swamp”. In the saltwater half of the swamp dwells Leviathan, our Spinosaurus aegyptiacus. Leviathan spends almost all of his waking time in the water, whether wading in his mangroves or walking along the bottom of his deeper pool, but he prefers to sleep in the soft sand of his beach house. In the background, you can see two Paralititan stromeri, who occupy a similar, but slightly drier, habitat.

When in the Primordial Swamp, be sure not to miss the temnospondyl lair and Tiktaalik’s Landing!

After years of development, we are pleased to announce our latest new section in “Feathers of China”, with one massive enclosure containing  Beipiaosaurus inexpectus, Psittacosaurus osborni, Confuciusornis sanctus, and Caudipteryx zoui all present together. Here we can see Tom and Jerry, two Caudipteryx, engaged in a dispute over social status, while Mimi the Bepiaosaurus looks on in confusion.

Long the Yutyrannus huali is our other new star of the Feathers of China exhibit. Here you can see him emerging from his den. His blue beard, horns, and “eyebrows” signal his value as a mate. During the mating season, he often “bows” to show off his horns, a sort of practice for if he meets actual females of his species. Long is curious of humans and happily comes near the edge of the enclosure to watch people, so he is a famous and popular sight already.

Of course, our most famous feature is the “Tyrant’s Castle”, of which the star is Lonnie the Tyrannosaurus rex. Tyrannosaur jaws are made to crush bone, so Lonnie loves having toys that her jaws can work on. Our special reinforced meat-filled rawhide is perfect for giving her the enrichment she needs and providing nutrition at the same time. Feeding is every other day at 12 sharp, so keep an eye on our calendar and don’t miss it!

The Tyrant’s Castle documents the rise of the tyrannosaurs, including Nanuqsaurus hoglundi, Alioramus remotus, and Lythronax argestes.  It is our most popular exhibit, and we are currently working on adding more members of the tyrant’s can to our zoo. Thank you to all our customers, and we hope to see you again and again as we continue to expand into our amazing past.

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2 Comments

  1. Gunther seems like a fun little prankster. And Lonnie wants to get swole in the tyrannogym, I see.

    • Gunther can be a pain, but he’s definitely beloved both behind the scenes and by visitors.

      Lonnie is of course an adult Tyrannosaurus rex. There isn’t much stronger she can get!

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