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Rent a dinosaur - Frequently asked questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Dexter?

He’s an incredibly realistic and ‘apparently live’ animatronic baby Tyrannosaurus rex, or T. rex. There is one operator inside that operates his legs, head, neck, mouth, eyes, and tail. He also roars on demand!

He’s 4 metres long and at full stretch he’s 3 metres high.

Dexter was custom built for us, using all the latest technology in creature animatronics and materials. He’s simply the most realistic live baby T. rex dinosaur anywhere in the UK! (As far as we know, there’s only one other of his quality in the world!)

How big is he?

He’s HUGE! Dexter the Dinosaur stands 4m long, and depending on his poise, can be between 2 and 3m tall. Or in old fashioned money, that’s 14ft long, and 6-10ft tall!

He’s a bit wider than people too, so if you want him to come inside, we’ll have to talk about the width of your doors..

He might be able to walk up stairs (if you let us know the circumstances), and he can manage escalators and LARGE lifts.

He’s based on a 2 1/2 year old juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex, who would have weighed about half a ton. He’d normally eat 2-3Kg (4-7lb) bones and meat per mouthful, and he’d swallow it whole!

Why does he have feathers?

Paleontologists have long debated the possibility of dinosaurs and feathers. In 2012, paleontologists found a T. Rex relative, Yutyrannus huali, that had filamentous feathers!  If a relative from the same scientific classification family had feathers, why not the king of reptiles, Tyrannosaurus rex himself?

Why is he Green?

Well, the fact is, that nobody knows what colour some dinosaurs were! No Tyrannosaurus skin or soft tissue has ever been found with pigment intact, so we have no way of knowing with current modern technology. Although evidence of skin from many other ancient reptiles has been found, it might have been more easily degradable. “It could be something that has to do with feathers in the skin itself changing the texture and the resistance of skin, which perhaps made it more likely to degrade than ‘typical’ scaly skin,” says Mary Schweitzer, a molecular paleontologist at the North Carolina State University. She then speculates that the skin of a mature T. Rex, “without the feathers, would probably be kind of like chicken legs. Probably scaly, probably pretty resistant to water and degradation at least while they’re alive.”

We decided to go with a green and sand colour theme for Dexter, as it looks great, and matches the environment where Tyrannosaurus rex lived – by rivers and the edge of forests, where his prey would have lived.

I can see his legs!

Yes you can! We did try to have the operator’s legs covered in dinosaur skin, but humans and their legs are a very different shape to dinosaurs, and that meant very stiff legs, and the dinosaur tended to waddle like a hippopotamus and didn’t look at all like the agile predator that is Tyrannosaurus rex. By the way, did you know his name translates from Latin to “The Tyrant Lizard King”.

And trust me, when you have a ton of dinosaur and BIG teeth looking down on you from 8 feet high, you won’t be looking at his legs!

How do your shows work?

Dexter and the Babies come in a large Horsebox, so we’ll need parking near to the show area, as Dexter is very lazy and doesn’t like to walk long distances. Where this isn’t possible, we have a 3mx4.5m Gazebo that Dexter can rest in away from his trailer.

How big is the performance area?

When Dexter’s not walking around meeting and greeting, he needs a fenced off area to show off his realistic dinosaur behaviour. Being 4m long, his area needs to be at least 5m square, but ideally much bigger so he can run from one side to the other and stretch his long legs.

Who's in your team?

First and foremost there’s Dexter, and his 3 dinosaur Babies:

  • Stig the Stegosaurus
  • Trixie the Triceratops
  • Rexie the Tyrannosaurus rex.

We always have at least two dinosaur wranglers for short shows, and for day long events, we’ll have around 4 – 6 trained dinosaur wranglers. You can tell they’re experts, because they still have all 10 fingers and thumbs!

How many shows can you do a day?

Our normal scripted shows last about 20 minutes, and we can repeat them every 90 minutes. Between shows, everybody is welcome to chat to us and meet the babies, and handle our amazing museum-quality fossil collection. We’ve always got time to talk about dinosaurs, and and show anyone who’s interested all our dinosaur artifacts.

Can visitors really touch your baby dinosaurs and handle your replica fossils?

Definitely! We’re not just amazing puppeteers, we all love and have a passion for dinosaurs and paeleontology, and are never happier showing you all our stuff and talking to adults and children about what we do and what we love.