California Dinosaurs (page 2)

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Discovery Science Center
Santa Ana, CA
smaller dinosaurs
Argentino, an Argentinosaurus, was installed at the Discovery Science Center in 2006. At 40 feet tall, the dinosaur is life-sized and interactive. A cut-away section provides information about the dinosaur's heart and digestive system. There are also a life-sized T-Rex skeleton named Stan and a few smaller dinosaur statues. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [first two photos thanks Discovery Science Center] [map]

Claude Bell's Dinosaur Gardens
Cabazon, CA




modern dinosaurs
Cabazon, CA
Claude Bell began building dinosaurs in 1964 at the age of 73. He had previously worked for Knott's Berry Farm and Warner Brothers building miniatures. Bell grew up in Margate, NJ and was undoubtedly influenced by Lucy the Elephant. He built the two dinosaurs to catch the eye of passing motorists in order to get them to stop and eat at his restaurant, the Wheel Inn. The brontosaurus, built from 1964-1975, is 150 feet long. The T-Rex, built from 1981-1988, is 65 feet tall.

Then brontosaurus, which Bell named "Dinny," is the largest dinosaur statue in the United States. There is a souvenir shop inside the statue which features carvings of busts depicting the evolution of man. The T-Rex has an observation tower in his mouth. This statue also once housed a date shop. Bell wanted to put a slide down the T-Rex's tail. However, he died in 1988 just before the statue could be completed. Later owners finished the dinosaur's construction and added red bulbs to both dinosaurs' eyes so that they glow at night. Bell had also wanted to build a mastodon and a sabertooth tiger. He built the Snake just before his death. There is now a video camera in the Snake's mouth to keep an eye out for vandals.

In 2020, the two dinosaurs were repainted for the Christmas holidays. The brontosaurus was bright green while the T-Rex was painted with a Santa suit. When these photos were taken in 2021, the T-Rex was wearing bunny ears and was painted for Easter. In 2022, the statues were painted for Valentine's Day.

The modern dinosaurs were added around 2008. They are part of the Robotic Dinosaurs and Museum located just behind Bell's dinosaurs. For more, see these websites: 1, 2, and 3. [map]

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