Dinosaur Invasion at Leu Gardens!

Dear Grandson,

I know how interested you are in dinosaurs and when I found out that they were invading Orlando, I was disappointed that you couldn’t go see them with us. So I thought I should at least make some photos you can look at.

The gate into the Dinosaur Invasion

I went on a week day so it wasn’t very crowded, but it was a little bit scary being all by myself sometimes with a few of the dinos. This next photo is my favorite from the exhibit. It’s a close up of an Allosaurus mom and I think she’s looking right at me!

Allosaurus Allosaurus close-up

As you probably know, an Allosaurus looks a lot like a T-Rex, but they aren’t closely related. The next picture shows the mom with her babies. I wonder where the Allosaurus grandad is?

Allosaurus family (Jurassic– 155 to 150 million years ago)

The Appatosaurus was a massive dinosaur – about 75 feet long and 30 feet tall. It was a herbivore and could eat hundreds of pounds of plants each day. It’s too big for an exhibit like this one, so they show two of its fossilized bones.

Apatosaurus Bones (Jurassic– 155 to 150 million years ago)

Because they’re small, Bambiraptors are named after the Disney character. Have you ever seen the Bambi movie? These may be small but they don’t look much like a baby deer to me! They walked on two legs, might have been able to climb trees and were possibly covered in feathers.

Bamiraptors (Cretacious– 75 million years ago)

Citipati fossils were discovered in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia, and the fossil find included an entire nest and four adults.

Citipati Nest (Cretacious– 84 to 72 million years ago)

Allosaurs aren’t related to T-Rex, but Daspletosaurs are. Its name means “Frightful Lizard”. They stood about 12 feet tall and had very long razor sharp teeth. This one looks like it’s running after me through the bamboo forest!

Daspletosaur (Cretacious– 77 to 74 million years ago)

Heterodontosaurus was a smaller dinosaur – it only weighed about 13 lbs. It had five fingers and opposable thumbs for picking up things.

Heterodontosaurus (Triasic / Jurassic– 200 to 195 million years ago)

Hypsibema is the official state dinosaur of Missouri. Florida doesn’t have an official dino. I don’t think your state has one either, but it needs one!

Hypsibema & Nest (Cretacious– 75 million years ago)

Experts think that the Parasaurolophus used its head crest to make loud bellows.

ROAR!!!

Parasaurolophus (Cretacious– 75 million years ago)

Placerias looks fierce but it was a herbivore. It could use those tusks for defense but also to slice through thick branches and roots.

Placerias (Triassic– 220 to 215 million years ago)

Modern day Crocodiles are related to the Postosuchus. I guess it does look a little bit like the crocodiles and alligators we have today in Florida.

Postosuchus (Triassic– 237 to 201 million years ago)

Quetzalcoatlus was one of the biggest flying animals of all time with an estimated wingspan of 36 – 39 feet! They could probably move fast on the ground too.

Quetzalcoatlus (Cretacious– 70 to 65 million years ago)

Sordes was another flying reptile that could walk on the ground and climb trees. Its wingspan was only about 2 feet – much smaller than Quetzalcoatlus.

Sordes Pair (Jurassic– 155 million years ago)

And here’s our last Dino -the Velociraptor. It’s name means “Speedy Thief” or “Swift Robber”. These carnivores are pretty scary in the movies, aren’t they?!

Velociraptor (Cretacious – 85 to 75 million years ago)

Grandson, I’d never heard of some of these. Did you know about all of them? I hope you enjoyed looking through this. I had fun making the photos and imagining how much you would have liked going with us to see the dinos. Next time you’re here in Florida on vacation, we’ll find some exciting things to do together. We know about a museum we can visit over in Daytona that has a Giant Glyptodont!

Love you!

Grandmom and Granddad

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Here’s a bit more info for those of you that might want to take your kids or grandkids to see this.

Cypress and dark water Cypress and dark water along the shore from the Lake Rowena Overlook at Leu Gardens

Harry P. Leu Gardens (see this previous blog post and this album on Flickr for more photos) is a botanical showcase for plants that grow well in our Central Florida climate. There’s also a restored 19th century home that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places and you can tour a portion of the downstairs. It makes for a great photo walk, and the lush vegetation also makes a great backdrop for a Dino Invasion!

These dinosaurs were created by Guy Darrough’s Lost World Studios. They make them life size and as realistic as possible. They looked very authentic to me! If you want to see this exhibit, make your plans quickly. The last day is April 18th.

Thanks to everyone for stopping by and reading my blog. And as always, take care of yourselves and each other. And when you can – visit with your grandkids and make some photos!

©2021, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

6 thoughts on “Dinosaur Invasion at Leu Gardens!

  1. I know that he enjoyed these pictures and would have been thrilled and amazed had he been able to see them in person with you and Lynn. I have to admit, I am not excited about Dinosaurs myself except when he is excited about them, but that was a very impressive display! Thank you for sharing and I pray that we all get to be with our grandkids and kids soon! Stay safe and well.

    1. Thank you Michele. I enjoyed writing this post. It seems like the vaccine roll out is going well. As long as we can get and stay ahead of the variants we should be able to see family soon.

      Take care!

  2. After looking at the first image, I reverted to my childhood and was thrilled at each creature in your superb post!

    Would love to take my grandkids to see such wonders.

    Thank you, Ed, for sharing this terrifying adventure!

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