If you enjoy my Sentimental Paleontology posts, you'll love this one—it's about actual paleontology! Dinosaurs, man! Who doesn't love dinosaurs?
I love dinosaurs. And that's why I've always had a special place in my heart for the Primeval World Diorama. You can keep your Fun FactsTM about the NewYork World's Fair and the Ford Magic Skyway and the world record for the longest diorama display. All that stuff is important, but it pales in comparison to the simple fact that: Dinosaurs.
But are they...accurate dinosaurs? No. No they are not. We can get that out of the way right off the bat. The Primeval World diorama contains animatronic figures built in the mid-60s, many of them riffing off an animated movie that came out in 1940. At best, they reflect the paleontological consensus of the times, filtered through the sensibilities of animators and others artists who were not necessarily scientifically literate, let alone scientists.
So just how bad is it? Let's find out. While grinning like an eight-year-old at the Natural History Museum, because dinosaurs.