Rockville Centre’s dinosaur exhibit adds two attractions


The “Dinosaurs! And Live Animals Exhibit” at The Center for Science Teaching and Learning (CSTL) at Tanglewood Preserve in Rockville Centre is an immersive experience that transports visitors back to prehistoric times.

The CSTL display features over 40 other animatronic and dinosaur skeleton models on display, including two new animatronic dinosaurs added last week: a seven-foot tall Protoceratops (Pro-to-cer-a-tops) and a 16-foot tall Pachycephalosaurs (Pack-e-cep-a-lo-saurs).

Each year, the exhibit adds more attractions to the permanent exhibit, which is the only tourist and educational attraction of its kind on Long Island, said CSTL Director Dr. Ray Ann Havasy.

“This year’s additions were really kid-favorites,” he said. “We chose the Pachycephalosaurs because kids call them ‘bump heads,’ and we chose Protocertops because of their size, which is like a pony. It’s one of the smaller dinosaurs, and we want children to understand that not all dinosaurs were tremendous.”

The dinosaur collection at the CSTL includes 18 partial skeletons, 12 full skeletons, and 10 animatronic dinosaurs.

In addition to the dino simulations, there are more than 40 different live animals, many of which are rescues. That group includes owls, emus, golden pheasants, goats, alligators, lizards, turtles and frogs.

Over the past two years, the animals exhibit at 1 Tanglewood Road has become a family-friendly attraction.

The exhibit gives visitors an up-close-and-personal experience where they can learn how animals adapt and survive in different environments, which is demonstrated through a unique intermixing of dinosaur models and live animals together. 

“We just found out that we are the largest, permanent, animatronic dinosaur exhibit in the state of New York,” Havasy said. “We do have a large collection of dinosaurs, whether they are animatronic or skeletal, plus the live animals, so it makes for a nice, reasonable-size exhibit for a family.”

The Center for Science Teaching and Learning is open daily from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and closed on Wednesdays.

For more information, you can visit their website by clicking here.

Top photo: One of the animatronic dinosaurs at The CSTL. Photo courtesy of Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman.