The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

April 7, 2014

Leonardo’s dinosaur exhibit opens Tuesday

ENID, Okla. — Oklahoma’s largest Cretaceous carnivore and a claw-wielding predator on the hunt are among the life-like dinosaurs at the center of “Red Dirt Dinos: An Oklahoma Dinosaur Adventure,” which opens today at Leonardo’s Children’s Museum.

The exhibit was created exclusively for Oklahoma Museum Network funded by Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. The 1,500-square-foot exhibit features three interactive robotic dinosaurs and a variety of hands-on components that help visitors explore Oklahoma’s dinosaurs, said Sherry Marshall, Oklahoma Museum Network director.

“The animatronic dinosaurs in this exhibit operate using a technology never before seen,” said Marshall. “It enables the dinosaurs to react to their environment and respond to different stimuli, creating a different experience for visitors each time they come.”

“Red Dirt Dinos” features three dinosaurs: Acrocanthosaurus, the official dinosaur of the state of Oklahoma; Tenontosaurus, the long-tailed herbivore; and its main predator, Deinonychus, whose grasping hands with large sickle-shaped claws enabled it to hunt with switchblade precision.

The dinosaurs operate using an infrared technology found in current video gaming consoles, enabling dinosaurs to detect movement of people in the exhibit and to distinguish between children and adults. The dinosaurs not only react to exhibit visitors, but also to other dinosaurs within the exhibit, creating a fully immersive experience.

In addition to the animatronic dinosaurs, “Red Dirt Dinos” has a number of interactive components, including a paleontologist’s tent and other archaeology tools, an egg scanner, the big-mouth Dino-slide and a giant crawl-through log.

The exhibit was made possible through a $3 million grant from Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.

Admission to the exhibit is included in general admission.

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