With one victim clamped to the ground with its claw and another about to become dinner between its gaping jaws, the Baryonyx looked a mean sight at the Expo Jurasico in Costa Adeje’s Magma Centre. This was just one of the 20 animatronic dinosaurs gathered together just a bones throw away from the beaches of Playa de Las Americas.
The prehistoric creatures are holding court for three weeks (until 14 November) with a mission to fascinate, enthrall, and educate visitors of all ages. The daddy of them all, the Tyrannosaurus, stood guard at the rear entrance to their temporary home, and it cut a very imposing figure as it turned its head, snarled, and swished its weapon-like tail.
Animatronics are at the heart of these life sized beasts, the internal controls add an extra dimension, at 15 metres long and 12 metres tall the Tyrannosaurus looked like it could match the 7 ton weight of its ancient ancestors.
The large cavernous halls of the Magma make a good setting and there’s plenty of room to walk between the creatures and to get up close. Each species has an information board with their vital statistics, it is in Spanish but the basic facts like size, origin etc are easy for anyone to pick out. They may not be cuddly but I’m sure many visitors will have an aaah moment when they see the adult Triceratops followed by its young offspring. It’s going to be Dino Mania around Los Cristianos, Torviscas, and many other resorts for a few weeks, they have a large stall selling small toy replicas of the famous big stars just inside and a selection of books.
The landscape and seascape of Tenerife has featured heavily in prehistoric filming, not just Raquel Welch running around Teide for One Million Years BC. Ten years ago I eavesdropped on Impossible Pictures as they filmed scenes for Sea Monsters, a spin off from the BBC series Walking With Dinosaurs, at Puerto Colon and Los Gigantes.
During their visit part of the team were planning a move into drama with ITV sci fi series Primevel. Five years later Discovery Channel gave me a glimpse of their El Médano filming for Reign Of The Dinosaurs. It’s almost a homecoming for the Spinosaurus, this distant cousin to the lizard family came from Africa, it looked like it might want to go for a wander at any moment to discover its roots.
The Oviraptor looked a nippy character, not as plodding as its bigger rivals, but don’t worry it’s not about to declare itself on holiday and head for the nearest beach. The hall was echoing to the sound of growls and cries and I thought at times I felt that some rather large eyes were following me but hopefully that was my imagination, there’s plenty to stimulate it here. Pop in and say hello to the past.
Expo Jurasico, Magma Artes & Congresso (between Costa Adeje bus station and Siam Park); open to 14 November, Monday to Friday 5pm to 9pm, Saturday & Sunday 11am to 2pm and 5pm to 9pm; prices 7 euros (free entry to three years old and younger); box office (at rear of Magma) open an hour before entry times.
Category : days out
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