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Mesa museum goes Jurassic with dinosaur replica bursting through wall

(City of Mesa Photo)

PHOENIX – A Mesa museum unveiled an eye-catching addition to its exterior Tuesday, a fierce dinosaur that appears to be breaking through the wall.

An imposing, authentic replica of a Acrocanthosaurus now greets visitors to the Arizona Museum of Natural History.

“The new dinosaur bursting from the building is a great photo op for our visitors to commemorate their time here,” Mesa Mayor John Giles said. “I’m sure she’ll be a regular on social media feeds.”

Acrocanthosaurus was a 38-foot long, 7-ton carnivorous predator that lived in North America 100 to 120 million years ago.

The museum worked with a Kansas design firm, Dimensional Innovations, to build the dinosaur to accurate full-scale proportions and appearance.

“It truly takes a village, or perhaps a city, to create a scientifically accurate life-size Acrocanthosaurus,” museum director Tom Wilson said.

“There are so many people to thank, from our museum staff and volunteers to other city of Mesa employees, especially the Engineering Department, to Dimensional Innovations to our wonderful donors who have made this unique sculpture a reality.”

The Arizona Museum of Natural History has attracted more than 3 million visitors since it opened in 1990. It was located at 53 N. Macdonald.

The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. It was closed Mondays and and all federal and city holidays.

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