Dinosaurs took over the Renaissance Hotel recently, and it wasn't the first time! They've done it for the last few years. A production of Jurassic Quest Holdings LLC of Spring, Texas, the goal of the traveling dinosaur exhibition is to create a fun environment of learning and activity that explores the wonderment and mystery of our prehistoric past. While geared toward young people mostly, the adults viewing the exhibit were having just as much fun.

The exhibit consisted of many scenes, each complete with vegetation and land features that depicted dinosaurs from a period of time that best reflected when that particular animal lived. Other attractions were the Dino Dig, where youngsters could experience what it is like to be a real paleontologist, dinosaur rides, and gem and fossil panning , where participants could search for gems and fossils found in sand while washing it in a sluice box.

Then there was the Dino Gift Shop which sold dinosaur books, puzzles, T-shirts, dino toys, and just about anything having to do with dinosaurs. It was no surprise that the most popular dinosaurs were the Tyrannosaurus Rex, Triceratops, and Albertosaurus, the large meat-eater found in Canada.

Many people were amazed to find that the animals were depicted life-size, which gave everyone an idea just how big dinosaurs were! Youngsters and adults had the opportunity to trek through the Mesozoic Era to locate and identify the various Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous beasts on display, more than 80 animals in all.

One thing is for sure, Jurassic Quest has collaborated with leading paleontologists to replicate every detail of the animals on display. Indeed, they are museum quality and so realistic that one dad was heard to say upon leaving: "While we were looking at the dinosaurs, I had the uneasy feeling that they were watching us!" The dinosaur's next visit to Alabama will be October 11-13 in Birmingham at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Center. It really is worth your time, should you decide to go!