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Saturday, 2 June 2012

Jurassic Forest!

Yesterday was a day for dinosaurs! I don't know if you've ever felt this way, but sometimes, I get an idea in my head and the entire day seems to be themed around that one idea.

So, after looking for something to do, as Brittany had the entire day off, we found Jurassic Forest! We had originally wanted to go to Drumheller, to see the real dinosaurs, but most of the exhibits aren't featured until later in the summer so we decided to wait. But, Jurassic Forest was a nice warmup!

It was a pleasant country drive, some 40 km from downtown Edmonton, with wide open spaces, beautifully flat farmland, and the prospective crop of canola growing out in the distance. Once we finally arrived, I knew we were going to have a lot of fun.

With a gate and doors very similar to the giant wooden doors seen in Jurassic Park, my excitement grew.

Look! A door!
Following the boardwalk, we obtained our tickets and made our way into the front foyer. And just because it seems tradition, I took another photo featuring my finger getting in the way...sigh.

This lovely skull was featured just outside of the ticket area.
These looked like they were ready to pounce, hanging above us as we bought out tickets.
It was tough getting the entirety of this T-Rex skeleton in the frame, but I managed it. By the way, to all you dinosaur experts out there, I apologize if I get anything wrong. I was never the dinosaur kid, I was the space kid. I will do my best, but if I get anything wrong, don't hesitate to tell me. (I know most of you won't...hesitate, that is, haha)
This was one of two animatronic exhibits in the ticketing foyer. I thought it was awesome, seeing this Gastornis swing its head, hearing it squawk at you, and the pollen that had floated in from outside looked just like the down of its feathers which I thought was kind of neat!

Blogger is weird sometimes, as it doesn't always follows its own rules on how and where pictures are formatted. Anyway, this Triceratops also moved, and growled, swung its head and tail and opened/closed its eyes. When the little kids got out of my way, I was able to snap a photo.

Outside, there was a little deck with picnic tables, and a large sandbox area full of things for kids, big and small, to play on. I forgot to snap a photo, but there were skull fragments, some plastic spinal structures to climb on, some large, colourful cracked eggs to climb on/in, and a paleontological dig site! Between tours, Brittany and I spent quite some time there, sweeping and brushing the dirt away, uncovering at least half of whatever it was. I'm not an expert, but it was still fun pretending.

The park is divided into a north and a south tour, and thankfully, we could walk the tour ourselves, without a guide. I say thankfully, because all the information was on the tour itself, and this freed us up to go at our own pace. Although, while I agree that it's a cool place, and a good one for a school field trip, it was a little annoying to be caught between groups of screaming, childish children. That may make me sound mean, but it was surprising to see so many kids not completely absorbed in the dinosaurs and the tour. I expected awe, what I saw was a deficit of attention. Oh well, I guess I'm just used to my friends, who I know would have been thoroughly interested and probably even going so far as complaining or complimenting the park and its exhibits on its authenticity.

Anyway, on with the tour; we took the southern one first. 
What's that creeping out of the forest? It's an Apatosaurus! Measuring about 28 metres in length and 24-32 tons in weight, this was the largest dinosaur at Jurassic Forest. This place was pretty cool because you got to see the dinosaurs roar and move and they looked like they belonged there.
 Here's another shot, showcasing most of its body.
Then, we got to watch these Coelophysese fighting over fish, growling and clawing at each other!
 Another shot of their struggle for food.
 Gasp! What's that over there, in the trees? (Spoilers below)
If you guessed Parasaurolophus, well you'd be right. If you didn't guess that, don't feel bad, I had to read the sign to know what they were called. These guys were quite loud and it was neat to feel like we were discovering them as we followed the wooden boardwalk.
 A better view of one.

No wonder they were loud, they were scaring us off from their young!

Then we saw this guy sneaking up on us!

We stayed very still as he seemed to make his way past us, but where was he going?

Ah, to meet up with this guy. Seeing that they had other business to attend to, we didn't linger.

Next, we spotted some Pteranodons, who squawked and screeched at us.

Found this Dimetrodon, lounging by a lagoon.
And this Iguanodon (I think), chowing down on some leaves.

I found this sign to be most informative, and amusing.

After that, we started on the north tour, and were met with these Pachycephalosauruses, butting heads.

These next two photos are quite neat, and I really enjoyed how fitting these dinosaurs looked here.
Also, if you look closely, you'll notice that not all is serene here at Jurassic Forest! (That's not one its young hitching a ride, it's a raptor!)

Speaking of lunchtime, we next caught this guy in the middle of his afternoon snack. I forget what he was called, but his colouring is cool.

Next, we moved to the armoured dinosaurs. Here we have, Anklyosaurus, with an estimated length of 9 metres, and weighing in at around 13000 lbs! His clubbed tail is one of his more famous attributes, and while barely seen here, I would not want to get hit with that!
Next, was the Stegosaurus! One of my favourites when I was a kid. (Yeah, I was a space kid, but I knew what dinosaurs were, obviously.) Weighing in at 7 tons, and 12 metres in length, I really liked how they coloured him to be fitting in with his environment. Other than how big and loud he is, you could almost believe he could hide in that forest.

Here we have a Maisaura. Its name means "caring mother lizard" and interestingly enough, that is because this was the first dinosaur found which yielded proof of dinosaurs caring for their young, as they found her protecting her babies. I thought that was really cool. After assuring her that we would leave her and her babies alone, and assuring Brittany that I was only teasing and not actually believing the dinosaur was real, we were on our way, haha.

Next, was the Styracosaurus!
Length: ~5.5 metres
Weight: ~3 tons

I thought he and his horns were quite impressive looking.

Before I show you what you're all waiting for, I want to talk a little more about Jurassic Forest. It was a nice place; informative and fun! Thankfully, it was a beautiful day and Brittany and I quite enjoyed seeing all the dinosaurs and enjoying the sunshine. Apart from dinosaurs, the Forest also featured information and exhibits on local flora and fauna. As silly as it may sound, we both found this to be just as interesting as the dinosaurs, as many times the information on the fungus, or type of plant would be accompanied by that plant growing there, for us to see. It was cool learning about the local wildlife as well. I'm new to Alberta, so it was nice getting a glimpse of the similarities and differences between our wildlife.

Anyway, la pièce de résistance, what you've all been really waiting for a closeup of, a monster so prevalent, so iconic, feeling so inferior due to its tiny forearms that it has the word king thrown into its name, we have, the Tyrannosaurus Rex!

Weighing in at 7.5 tons, and approximately 12.8 metres from head to tail, the T-Rex has inspired fear, wonder, and excitement in pretty much anyone who cares anything for dinosaurs. While not as fear-striking as the Raptor, the T-Rex, like all dinosaurs, should be respected for its sheer awesomeness. Thankfully, he was too busy eating to notice us, but not like it would have mattered anyway as I'm very adept at hiding in bushes, as this next photo will attest.

Haha, and that concludes our time at Jurassic Forest. It was a pretty awesome time and I'm glad I have seen it. It was a nice warmup for Drumheller, which we'll see later in the summer. Coming back from that, Brittany and I decided to check out the show Terra Nova. While I know the show has been cancelled, with a slim possibility of it being picked up by another network, we both still enjoyed the premise and the show itself, and will probably watch it all the way through.

Like I said, it was a dinosaur day, and as usual, was quite awesome. Thanks for reading!


  1. That looks awesome. I am jealous.

  2. As am I. So, so jealous.

  3. hi.i love what you have. but. i have a true story of a real,alive dinosaur,no one would believe me.....but. i saw one. he saw me....and i let him free so, i could be free day. i will go back to the spot were we met,and visit him,i don't care if no one believes me...but there are alot of remains of bones.but the dinosaurs never left.for they are in hidding...and people can be ruid to me and say what they want to tell, God as my witness..i tell the truth with my donise :) one day. i will go back to????and i will publish my picture with my friend,the dinosaur.i will not say were he lives,in what area.but. i will puplish him and i.for friend who is very much alive. may he live free from all sciencetists.anyone that would harm my friend,.for the day he saw me. he opened his mouth,he showed me his large teeth.but i did not yell back.our eyes touched.and i showed my he closed his mouth.looked at me,and watched me walk this way he could go back, into his hiding place,what i wonderful memory.a real alive!! I'm lucky...... :)