Dinosaurs at the Zoo | Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

UPMC Health Plan Presents Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium's Dinosaurs at the Zoo

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See them before they go extinct on September 3!

Imagine a trip way back in time to a prehistoric era when larger-than-life dinosaurs reigned supreme and roamed the same earth that we now call home. Books and videos illustrate how impressive dinosaurs were, bellowing through jungles as they swung and swayed their massive bodies, but their awe-inspiring grandeur has mostly been left up to the mind’s eye – until now.

Please Note: This exhibit may not be suitable for all audiences. The animatronic dinosaurs are intended to appear realistic and provide a sensory experience, which includes movement, loud sounds, spraying water, and scenes that contain some blood.

Upcoming Events inside Dinosaurs at the Zoo

Saturday, August 25: Jurassic Meet and Greet

Sunday, August 26: Sensory-Friendly Dinosaur Experience

Presented by

UPMC Health Plan

Friday, May 25 -
Monday, September 3
Weather permitting
9:30 a.m - 5:30 p.m.
Weather permitting
Next to the Education Complex, up the hill from the Carousel.
*All-Day Pass: $4.50 /person
Children under 24 months are free.

Upgrade your Membership package for unlimited Dino visits for $30!

*Add-on experience requires entry into the Zoo. View our summer general admission rates.

Imagine a trip way back in time to a prehistoric era when larger-than-life dinosaurs reigned supreme and roamed the same earth that we now call home. Books and videos illustrate how impressive dinosaurs were, bellowing through jungles as they swung and swayed their massive bodies, but their awe-inspiring grandeur has mostly been left up to the mind’s eye – until now.

The immersive environment in which the dinosaurs are placed is tucked away from the classic Zoo path that visitors have come to know and love. The dinosaur experience features life-sized, realistic dinosaurs among exotic and native foliage. This stunning backdrop of forest and jungle plant life further instills a sense of wonderment of a very different planet of the past.

Beyond the dinosaurs, guests can see, touch, and feel replica artifacts that represent the archetypes by which our world now knows the lost giants. A hands-on fossil dig bridges the gap across millennia, offering a tactile reminder of how our species has come to know the dinosaurs. Bringing the science of the past together with the science of the future, an interactive Deinonychus allows visitors to see the internal workings of these tech-powered animatronics to better understand how they work.

It can be easy to forget that dinosaurs were real animals living on our planet between 65 and 230 million years ago, but all modern day life has ties to these ancient creatures. Many animal species went extinct by the end of the Mesozoic Era, but theropod dinosaurs, mammals, and other reptilian animals survived. Modern-day animals live on as descendants from these prehistoric ancestors. Most species over time are forced by their environment to adapt and change, such as the rhinoceros family that has seen many changes over millions of years. Meanwhile others develop into a form that is so well adapted that they do not change for centuries, such as the crocodile and jellyfish, who maintain a shockingly close resemblance to their ancient ancestors. A multitude of these modern animals with strong known ties to the prehistoric world can be found right here at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.

Dinosaurs at the Zoo offers the rare opportunity to see life-size, realistic dinosaurs in an immersive environment while making invaluable connections between the past and the present.

Now through Labor Day, join us for Daily Dino Events! All activities take place in the Dinosaur exhibit and require a Dinosaur ticket for entry.

9:45 a.m. Story Time
10:30 a.m. Animal Show
1:30 p.m. Animal Show

Please note these events are weather permitting.
 

Visit living "dinosaurs" at the Zoo!

Crocodile

Crocodiles existed 200 million years ago and have outlived most dinosaurs by 65 million years, yet modern crocodiles still match the fossils of their ancient ancestors. Their efficient body design, strong immune system, and adaptable behavior has helped them to survive.


Hellbender

Eastern hellbenders are a part of the ancient Cryptobranchidae family and their closest living relatives live in China and Japan. Hellbender fossils date back to more than 160 million years ago, a time when the dinosaurs still roamed the earth.


Rhinoceros

Rhinoceros are a part of the group called perissodactyls. Modern horses, zebras, and tapirs, also descended from this group. While perissodactyls did not live at the same time as the dinosaurs, they began their existence soon after, about 55 million years ago.

 

Jellyfish

Jellyfish have been swimming in the ocean for at least 500 million years, over 200 million years before dinosaurs ever existed. They are the earliest known organism to have organized tissues with an epidermis, gastrodermis, a nervous system, and muscles.


Arapaima

Arapaima have gone relatively unchanged for 23 million years. Although they began existence after the age of the dinosaurs had already ended, these primeval appearing fish are often called "dinosaur fish" as they are among the oldest freshwater fish in the world today.


Galapagos Tortoise

One to two million years ago, the first tortoises arrived on the Galapagos islands. Their precise evolution and ancestry prior to that event currently remains a mystery. The oldest and most primitive turtle fossil currently on record dates back 220 million years ago.