STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — "Jurassic World," the latest installment of the "Jurassic Park" film franchise, isn't due out until June — but you don't have to wait for that summer blockbuster to score face-time with dinosaurs.
Eight of the scaly prehistoric creatures are wintering at the Staten Island Zoo, where "Dinosaur Encounters" debuted Thursday, Dec. 18.
A triceratops is among the four species that were welcomed for their four-month stay by about 60 preschoolers who walked over from the Broadway YMCA. The exhibit is now open to the public through April 1 and is free with regular admission to the Zoo.
"They're not real. They're like toys," said one of the adults shepherding the slowly moving wide-eyed tots as they arrived.
Part of Field Station Dinosaurs in Secaucus, the animatronics are part of a 30 life-sized herd of the extinct animals that have been brought to life by scientists, engineers and imaginative artists. Triggered by motion detectors, the eight beasts move heads and tails and grunt and growl hoarsely.
"The combination of science and imagination, education and fun is something that Field Station shares with the Staten Island Zoo," said Zoo executive director Ken Mitchell.
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