Florida wasn't always a dangly spindle of over-priced real estate. Just a quick couple hundred million years ago it puzzled its way through Pangaea's outstretched mass, providing nutrients and lodgings to its Mesozoic landlords, the lumbering dinosaurs.
Had they only kept journals or scrapbooks, consider how many more dignified things we might know about them. As is, their epitaphs are so terribly unrefined: Here lies Plateosaurus. This bipedal herbivore had a brilliant set of plant-crushing teeth, a seductive pear-shaped torso, and a curiously large thumb claw; He will be missed. It hardly does them justice, but what point of reference do we have for their grandeur, aside from skeletons? Where's the verve? The joy? The base animal life-force?
Actually, it's at the Bank Atlantic Center (2555 Panther Pkwy., Sunrise). Walking with Dinosaurs is a full-scale, arena explosion of ancient, mighty beasts, and it's based on the popular educational BBC program of the same name. Absorb the spectacle of leviathans not only conjured to life through animatronics, but done so to scale (The brachiosaurus spans 75.46 feet from snout to tail.). A massive, bat-like ornithocheirus sweeps from the sky, competing for your attention with the perpetually snarling Tyrannosaurus, and 13 other popular pre-Paleolithic superstars. They growl, stomp, and respond to stimuli in ways that let you see these wondrous monsters as more than simply modern oil reserves. Like the dinos themselves, this show has a limited run. Catch it today for three showings and again on Sunday for its final two. Tickets range $34.75 to $69.75; get them from Ticketmaster, and check out the dinos at dinosaurlive.com.
Sat., Nov. 22, 2008