Dinosaurs at the Denver Zoo with Zeb and Soapy Smith Duck

Ducks, let’s go to the zoo!   Some of our favorite words.   But what is this?   Dinosaurs at the zoo?   Aren’t they extinct?   Let’s look around here.   This is Coelophysis.

Coelophysis dinosaur

Coelophysis is the earliest dinosaur known to have a wishbone (or furcular), a feature once believed to be unique to birds.

Coelophysis dinosaur

They were social animals, living and hunting in groups.  When you go to the zoo, be prepared.   These dinosaurs move their heads and make a ferocious sound.   You might be startled at first, we were.   Next we saw Carnotaurus.

Carnotaurus dinosaur

This dinosaur may have had something in common with the modern day Komodo dragon; highly flexible jaws that allowed it to swallow large chunks of flesh whole.  But, please, not to swallow ducks…

Moving along, Edmontonia dinosaur was a sight to see.

Edmontonia dinosaur

This dinosaur would have been a poor choice of prey for a predator due to the bony lumps, or osteoderms, that dotted its already rough hide.   It is theorized that Edmontonia had a highly developed sense of smell, thanks to extensive nasal passages within the skull.

Diabloceratops was the most unusual dinosaur we saw.

Diabloceratops dinosaur

Diabloceratops is estimated to have tipped the scales at roughly 4,000 pounds, the same weight as a modern Indian rhinoceros.   In addition, like the rhino, it was an herbivore despite its dangerous looking horns.  About 79 million years ago, during the late Cretaceous period, Diabloceratops lived in Utah.   Hey, that is less than 300 miles from where we live.

But look at these baby diabloceratops.

Baby diabloceratops dinosaur

Aren’t they so cute?  The last dinosaur we saw was Iguanodon.

Iguanodon dinosaur

We learned that Iguanodon is one of three dinosaurs used as inspiration for Godzilla?   The other two were T Rex and Stegosaurus.   About 125 million years ago Iguanodon roamed around what is now Belgium in Europe.

There are more dinosaurs for you to discover at the Denver Zoo.   But don’t wait too long.   After October 31, 2017 the dinosaurs will once again become extinct.   While we were at the zoo, we stopped to visit a few of our favorite animals.   Mom just loves tigers.

Tiger

We like them also.   The okapi is always interesting to us.

Okapi

The okapi is a relative of giraffes and lives deep in the equatorial rain forests of Africa.  Okapi can eat up to 65 pounds of leaves a day.  That’s a lot of leaves!  We love that the okapi only has some stripes.  That makes him very unusual and favorite of ours.  Of course, no trip to the zoo would be complete with seeing the majestic lion.

Lion

And here is the fastest land animal on earth, the cheetah.  The cheetah can sprint up to 70 miles per hour.

Cheetah

Look at those eyes.  The sign said the black “tear marks” along the side of a cheetah’s nose may help reduce glare, just like the black grease some football players smear under their eyes.   Is the cheetah a trend setter? Perhaps.

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