Would you like to get up close and personal with the dinosaurs?
Frankly, the thought of that terrifies me and I’m glad that human life only came about some 65 million years after the age of dinosaurs. Thanks to the live show Walking with Dinosaurs – The Arena Spectacular, we can all experience the wonder and magnificence of these prehistoric creatures from the safety of our spectator seats at the worldwide tour.
Here are some pictures and videos that I took at the live show now that the dinosaurs have come to Singapore. (Whoa, that’s one sentence I never thought I would say!) Please excuse the shoddy quality produced by my pocket camera. These footage, presented in sequence, should give you a good idea of what the dinosaur tour is like.
Huxley, the paleontologist (the same occupation that Ross has in Friends) takes the audience through the 200 million year journey describing the events and the dinosaurs in a 1.5 hour show. Technically, he’s the only person that actually gets to walk with the dinosaurs.
The Liliensternus, an agile and fast carnivore, is the first dinosaur that enters the arena. It ran on two powerful hind-legs, balanced by a long, graceful tail. For such lightweight dinosaurs, they have a real person inside the costume.
The larger dinosaurs are animatronics with a skateboard-like apparatus between their feet to aid them in moving about.
Due to its interesting appearance, the Stegosaurus is one of the dinosaur breeds that I remember most vividly from reading picture books in my childhood. It had a double row of kite-shaped plates rising vertically along its arched back. The tail, with two pairs of long spikes extending horizontally near the end, made it one of the most dangerous weapons ever evolved by a herbivore.
I don’t recall the name of this guy. If any of you dinosaur fanatics know, please write in the comments! It’s hard to pay attention to Huxley’s narration when you are in awe of these huge creatures right in front of your eyes! The strikingly visible skateboards do take a little away from the realism, but it would probably be some years before the animatronics can be made more life-like without the need for such apparatus.
Entering the stage is the biggest dinosaur of the show, the Brachiosaurus. It stood over ten metres high, was twenty-two metres long and weighed around eighty tons. The Brachiosaurus was adapted to live on land, with similarities to a giraffe, browsing in treetops.
I am slightly disappointed that the Apatosaurus (or Brontosaurus) doesn’t make an appearance, but this enormous creature is a good substitute.
It even gets up close to the audience! Does anyone else wanna x-ray this guy?
Awww! This little love scene between the giants puts an end to the first part of the show as we enter a 15 minute intermission.
And… we’re back from the break!
The fish-eating Ornithocheirus swoops in as the first and only flying reptile of the tour. Unfortunately this happens to be the weakest point of the show. The audience is entertained by the robotic pterosaur in a stationary position against a video backdrop to simulate it flying through past lakes and valleys. Sure, it is flapping its wings the whole time, but… If they could make it glide over the audience like what Britney Spears did in her Dream Within a Dream concert, that would be cool.
A trio of Utahraptors makes an appearance by feasting on a carcass (holy s… is that one of its kind?). This is another lightly-built carnivore with sharp ripping claws that allowed it to take on creatures bigger than its own size.
That’s a Jurassic Park moment right there!
Next up, a pair of Torosauruses (meaning “Bull reptile”) amble on the stage. Due to their similar appearance, they are easily mistaken for the Triceratops.
With their two long horns sprouting above the eyes and a smaller horn on the snout, the Torosaurus was like the dinosaur version of a rhinoceros.
Like the Stegosaurus, the tank-like, heavily armored Ankylosaurus had a very distinctive appearance. The two pairs of sharp horns at the back of its head and large bony plates on its body protected it from big meat eaters. Parts of the tail vertebrae were fused like the handle of a club, while the base of the tail remained flexible. The end of the tail was a large bony club which would have been a devastating defensive weapon wielded against attacking predators.
Finally, guess who makes an appearance?
Why, the Tyrannosaurus of course. She is the star of the show! This fearsome beast needs no further introduction.
Each time she roars, the crowd cheers! Her wee little arms make me giggle though.
That’s what they call a money shot!
The show ends after approximately 80 minutes. It is a documentary-performance of larger-than-life prehistoric creatures, speckled with humour and filled with nuggets of information. For a dinosaur experience, this is definitely an enjoyable and thrilling one.
Have you seen the Walking with Dinosaurs live show? After watching the videos above, what do you think of it? Tell us in the comments!