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.

Felines at the Denver Zoo

Denver has a wonderful zoo.

Zeb the Duck goes to the zoo

Zeb the Duck goes to the zoo

It is huge and has many animals.  The zoo also has some special exhibit areas.  To see and enjoy the entire zoo, we would need to spend a full day, never stopping, or see a little each day.  Mom and I have a zoo membership, so we visit the zoo for an hour or more several times during the year.  If you live near Denver, you would enjoy a zoo membership also.

This trip we entered and headed for the large felines.  Mom and I really love the cats.  They are so powerful and so graceful.

Mom's favorite

Mom’s favorite

Now that you know how we visit the zoo, let’s talk about this visit.

Entering the zoo, we watched the banded mongoose run and play.

Banded mongoose

Banded mongoose

Some hid under a gunnysack and then jumped out, then hid again.

I was at the zoo.  The mongoose was playing.

I was at the zoo. The mongoose was playing.

In the same enclosure we watched the African crested porcupines.

African porcupines

African crested porcupines

They were lounging, not very active today.

Next exhibit were the dik diks.  These look like baby impalas or baby deer.

Dik Dik.  So little and cute.

Dik Dik. So little and cute.

However they are full grown.  Just look like toys.

I was with mom and saw all these animals also.  It was hard to get pictures of me, Zeb the Duck, with these animals.  They are so big and I would not go in the cage with them.  Next time at the zoo there will be more pictures of me.

Then we saw the servals.  These are African felines that hunt in tall grasses in Africa.  They hunt by sound rather than by sight.  We saw them, but they were too close to the fence for a good photo.  Then we watched the leopard.

Leopards climb trees

Leopards climb trees

This feline often sits in trees for a better view, and will usually take their meal in a tree with them.  The leopard then feels safe from everything, except humans.  So, when on an African safari, look up to see the rare leopard.

Siberian tigers are mom’s favorites.  Now I know why.  They are beautiful.  We saw the tiger calmly resting and waiting for dinner.  Dinner arrived, and this huge feline ate, while exhibiting good table manners.

Tiger with dinner

Tiger with dinner

Such grace and calmness.  WOW!!

Walking to the African exhibits, we saw this cheetah.  A cheetah is the fastest land animal, sprinting at 70 mph.

Cheetahs are fast!

Cheetahs are fast!

With speed and grace this feline is a real classy animal.  Never knew I would learn so much at the zoo and see such magnificent animals.

I am looking forward to our next zoo visit.  Go to www.denverzoo.org  to learn more.  I hope to see you at the zoo on my next visit.  You will enjoy your day here.  I, Zeb the Duck, love the zoo.