The dinosaurs that escaped extinction

If you’re ever in Seattle’s Fremont neighbourhood, keep your eyes peeled for two dinosaurs who cheated death and went on to live long, happy lives along the banks of the ship canal.

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The mother and baby dinosaurs were part of an exhibit at Seattle’s Pacific Science Center in the 1980’s but when the exhibit came to an end, the dinos were scheduled for destruction. Luckily for dino lovers everywhere, a group of Fremont locals got together and purchased the exhibit for the grand total of $1 and orchestrated the difficult task of transporting the 66 foot long steel frames, weighing 5 tonnes, to their new habitat. Once the frames were in place, thousands of ivy plants were brought in and lovingly tended to over the years until the frames were completely covered and the dinos roamed free once again.

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The mother apatosaurus and her baby can be found lolling along the Burke-Gilman Trail at the corner of N. 34th and Phinney. Some of you might recognize the shape as being that of a brontosaurus and you would be correct. In 1877, a Professor of Paleontology at Yale by the name of Othniel Charles Marsh recorded a juvenile, incomplete skeleton, naming it Apatosaurus, which translates as deceptive lizard. Two years later, he recorded another skeleton, but because it was so much larger, he thought it was another species which he dubbed Brontosaurus, or thunder lizard. It wasn’t until 1903 that the mistake was uncovered, so technically, the brontosaurus never really existed. But on the banks of the ship canal in Fremont, the topiary dinos don’t care what they’re called. They’re just happy to have escaped extinction.


About ailsapm

Hi there! I’m Ailsa Prideaux-Mooney. I’ve lived in many places, and travelled to many more. I had a lot of fun getting there and being there, wherever there happened to be at the time. I climbed a castle wall in Czesky Krumlov, abseiled down cliffs to go caving in the west of Ireland, slept on the beach in Paros, got chased by a swarm of bees in Vourvourou (ok that wasn’t fun, but it was exciting), learned flower arranging in Tokyo, found myself in the middle of a riot in Seoul, learned to snowboard in Salzburg, got lost in a labyrinth in Budapest and had my ice cream stolen by a gull in Cornwall. And I’m just getting started. If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read so far, I’d love you to follow my travelogue - - and remember, anyone who tries to tell you it’s a small world hasn’t tried to see it all.
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12 Responses to The dinosaurs that escaped extinction

  1. so here is where Nessie is hiding !!! she’s supposed to be in Scotland !

  2. Rosemarie says:

    I walked that waterfront trail several years ago on vacation in Seattle. I saw them. Thanks for the reminder. Rosemarie

  3. Awee that’s too cool, surprised they only sold for $1 though. Glad they are well and preserved for everyone to look at 🙂

    • ailsapm says:

      I guess if they were going to be destroyed anyway, it would probably have saved the exhibitors money that someone took the frames off their hands. I’m glad they did it too! 🙂

  4. Somebody had a lot of fun to make their vision come true!

  5. Great photos and info. 😀

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