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Strolling With Dinosaurs - Prehistoric Forest Reopens In Santa Barbara

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Would you like to come face to face with a moving T-Rex…or stroll past a Stegosaurus?

That’s going to be possible in Santa Barbara, as the Natural History Museum open an outdoor “Prehistoric Forest” – after Coronavirus restrictions closed the museum for weeks.

It’s a step – or rather a stroll – back in time.

Coming face to face with a Tyrannosaurus rex, the formidably armored Stegosaurus, high-crested Parasaurolophus, and Triceratops and even Euoplocephalus mamas with their young - these are just some of the dinosaurs you will meet along the banks of Mission Creek, in the grounds of Santa Barbara Natural History Museum.

The Museum's paleontologist Jonathan Hoffman, Ph.D. says the animatronic dinosaurs give an idea of the size of the extinct creatures. 

He says the exhibit of hand-crafted moving animatronics captures the imagination of dinosaur-lovers of all ages.

The Prehistoric Forest – which has moved outdoors – is just one of the ways the Museum is trying to keep exhibits accessible during COVID restrictions.

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"Bringing back the dinosaurs as a permanent installation was an opportunity which presented itself because of the public health crisis," the Museum's President & CEO Luke Swetland told KCLU. 

"But we have done a lot of changing in terms of our programming and moved a lot of things on line, but even when we are back [fully open], we are going to continue to do a lot of on-line activities becuase that gives us a reach that is literally global," he said.

'We think we are weathering this really well and what's most important is that we are honoring our mission to be of service to our community - to get people to understand nature, appreciate nature, and therefore want to work with us to help protect nature," said Swetland. 

The Museum reopens to the public on February 20.