Skeleton and Scares: 120 Dinosaur Models, 70 Species and Pure Joy in Portugal's Dino Park

Friday, July 20, 2018

Skeleton and Scares: 120 dinosaur models, 70 species and pure joy in Portugal's dino park

Grandeur, exciting times, and complete astonishment are an understatement when standing nose-to-nose with one of the deadliest creatures the world has ever known – a full scale Tyrannosaurus rex!

But the T. rex is just one of the highlights on display at Portugal’s ‘dinosaur capital’ – a new theme park in of the most fossil-rich areas in Europe.

"We have 120 large-scale reproductions of 70 different species, spread over 10 hectares," Simao Mateus, Dino Park's scientific director told AFP. 

The park recently witnessed its inauguration and sits in a part of Portugal’s long famous palaeontologists, just for its fossil-rich character.

Just beside the park is the town of Lourinha, which has been dinosaur-mad ever since the remains of dozens of prehistoric creatures were discovered in the late 19th century.

"Lourinha is quite particular about its dinosaurs, so we should all enjoy" the new facility, Mateus said. 

Visitors to the park are welcomes by a giant model Supersaurus – one of the largest dinosaur genera.

Specially imported from Germany, the statues are dotted throughout the route guiding the budding palaeontologists through the era when dinosaurs used to dominate the Earth.

Imported from Germany, the resin statues are dotted throughout a forest route guiding budding palaeontologists through the eons when dinosaurs stalked the Earth.

But the pride of the area are two models of dinosaurs just because of the fact that they got discovered there.

Lourinhasaurus – gigantic four-legged herbivore similar to Brachiosaurus or Diplodocus -- that roamed the rainforests of western Laurasia around 150 million years ago. 

In the last six months since its opening, the numbers are impressive, with 1,75,000 visitors already visited the unique park despite a prolonged period of poor weather.

The experience offers children and adults to take a glance of a long-lost part of planet’s amazing past.

For park employee Filipa Pedro, who has been handing out stone blocks, hammers, chisels and other tools to this next generation of geologists, the experience offers children a glance of a long-lost part of the planet's past.

"Children love dinosaurs, they are like these mysterious creatures that come from their dreams," Park employee Filipa Pedro said to AFP. 

"Thanks to lots of cartoons and films on the subject, their knowledge is impressive. So this park is bound to please them."