Was it really like this during the Mesozoic Era, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth?

Did Tyrannosaurus rex claw at the air, its roar announcing its terrifying approach? Did other, more docile dinosaurs blink their eyes and wag their tails?

No one knows for sure, but Jurassic Quest, an enormous traveling event that came to Colorado Springs this weekend, is as close as anyone alive today is likely to get to experiencing what it might have been like millions of years ago.

Thousands took advantage of the opportunity this weekend, crowding into the Colorado Springs Event Center to gawk at life-sized, animatronic dinosaurs before the exhibit moves on to its next destination in Denver.

More than 100 dinosaurs are featured, including about 80 animatronic dinos displayed in zoo-like exhibits that aim to present them as authentically as possible, said show manager Angela LeBlanc.

“We work closely with paleontologists to create our dinosaurs ... so that we can have accuracy in how to represent them and the scale that we believe they were,” LeBlanc said.

Amelia Chaney, 9, of Cañon City said she was enjoying the dinosaurs, but admitted that her mother and brother had been playing practical jokes on her.

“My mom and my brother scared me a couple times,” Amelia said, laughing. “They were grabbing onto my back like a T. rex was about to grab me.”

Amelia, who was waiting in line with her family to ride an enormous animatronic dinosaur, said her favorite dinosaur is the Triceratops, a horned dinosaur and a large protective frill behind its head and a parrot-like beak. It’s fierce appearance was defensive — Triceratops ate only plants.

Rena Trujillo of Pueblo brought her three kids — ages 3, 4 and 10 months old — dressed in full-body dinosaur costumes.

“They love it so far,” although Trujillo said they were scared during the “walking dinosaurs” show — people in a large dinosaur costume on a stage. The kids were eagerly anticipating another show featuring baby dinosaurs.

Although most of the attendees appeared to be families with young children, dinosaurs aren’t just for kids, said Rachel Bates, 27, who went to the event with her friends.

“Dinosaurs are just awesome,” Bates said. She said she was impressed by how realistic the dinosaurs seemed to be and how much educational information was available.

“No matter what age you are, we’re all fascinated with dinosaurs,” LeBlanc said. “Our hope is that we can create a fun, educational experience like no other.”

Sunday was the event’s final day in Colorado Springs. It will be in Denver March 22 to 24 at Colorado Convention Center. For more information or to buy tickets, visit jurassicquest.com.

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Ellie is a crime and breaking news reporter. She's a proud Midwesterner, stationery hoarder and Earl Grey tea enthusiast. After interning at The Gazette in 2015, she joined the newspaper's staff in 2016.

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