Concrete beasts overlooking a city in the Black Hills and they may rule it forever. Generations of children have visited the hilltop to see the dinosaurs. The Dinosaur Park is a free tourist attraction in Rapid City, South Dakota, United States. It was dedicated on May 22, 1936, and it contains seven dinosaur sculptures on a hill. The free familiy friendly park was created to capitalize on the tourists coming to the Black Hills. Constructed by the city of Rapid City and the Works Progress Administration, the dinosaurs were designed by Emmet Sullivan.
It is probably the only dino park that encourages kids to climb on all its displays. This may also explain the rounded and worn edges, nothing a regular paint job can't remedy. The family friendly park is located at 940 Skyline Drive and is maintained by the city of Rapid City. Admission is free, however steep flagstone stairs may limit handicapped accessibility. The park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 21, 1990.
Dinosaurs represented in the park include Apatosaurus, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, and an Edmontosaurus Annectens. A Protoceratops and a Dimetrodon (Dimetrodon is not actually a dinosaur, but rather a synapsid, and more closely related to mammals then reptiles) were added later on and are located near the gift shop and parking lot. With the exception of the Protoceratops, the dinosaurs they selected were based on fossils found in South Dakota and the Western United States.
The Apatosaurus, also called the Brontosaurus was a truly giant dinosaur that lived around 150 million years ago. The Apatosaurus is one of the largest animals to ever live on earth. It was 75 feet long and 50,000 pounds! It had a really long neck and tail as well as a small head. It may have used its long neck to reach out of the way food as well as to keep its head away from shorter predators. The Apatosaurus was an herbivore, meaning it only ate plants. It had to eat a LOT of plants every day to maintain its large size.
Tyrannosaurus Rex was one of the greatest predators that ever lived. Tyrannosaurus Rex is possibly the most well known dinosaur due to its huge size, ferocious nature and regular appearances in popular media. Tyrannosaurus Rex lived in the late Cretaceous Period, around 66 million years ago.
Triceratops were plant eaters (herbivores) which grazed in large herds together. The meaning of Triceratops is 'three-horned face'. Triceratops had nose horns they used for defence. The Triceratops was a plant eating (herbivore) dinosaur.
The Stegosaurus is the most famous dinosaur from a group of dinosaurs known as Stegosauria. They were all herbivores (plant eaters) and featured rows of unique bones that developed into plates and spines along their back and tail. The name Stegosaurus comes from the Greek words 'stegos' meaning roof and 'sauros' meaning lizard. The Stegosaurus was alive in the late Jurassic Period (around 150 million years ago).
Edmontosaurus annectens is a species of flat-headed or saurolophine hadrosaurid ornithopod dinosaur from the very end of the Cretaceous Period, in what is now North America. This was a plant eating dinosaur. Edmontosaurus annectens is known from numerous specimens, including at least twenty partial to complete skulls, discovered in the U.S. states of Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota and Wyoming, Colorado and the Canadian province of Saskatchewan.
Protoceratops is a dinosaur which lived around 71 million years ago during the end of the Mesozoic Period. It was approximately 6 to 8 feet long, 3 feet tall and weighed around a ton. It walked on all four legs, had a bird like beak, teeth in its cheek, and a frill that came from the back of its skull. It legs were very short for an animal its size and its feet had 5 toes. Many paleontologists believe that this animal was a herding animal. One that traveled in packs of 6 or more animals.
Dimetrodon is often confused with dinosaurs, and often appears along side them in pictures and museum displays. This animal's large sail was made up of tough skin that was supported by bone extensions of their vertebrae (backbone). Dimetrodon was carnivorous and an excellent hunter, often eating animals larger than itself.