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ASHEBORO, N.C. — The North Carolina Zoo on Friday will unveil for the second time its popular “Dinosaurs” exhibit.

The exhibit, which features life-size, hydraulic-powered dinosaur replicas, entertained zoo visitors during an eight-month stay in 2012.

Officials say the exhibit helped the park set attendance records in 2012.  Nearly 240,000 people, which makes up more than 35 percent of the zoo’s annual visitors, toured the exhibit between April and November.

A new cast of creatures will be featured this year.  Among the featured species will be Giganotosaurus, which will take the place of the Tyrannosaurus Rex in the new collection.

Other new species will include:

  • Dilophosaurus — the “Double or Two-Crested Lizard.” “Dilo” gained fame when it appeared as a much smaller dinosaur in the original Jurassic Park movie. Evidence does not show that it spit poison or had a frill around it’s head as in the movie. But from the early Jurassic (180-200 m.y.a.), “Dilo” was the top predator of its time and is one of the few dinosaurs to have been found in what is now modern Arizona.
  • Acrocanthosaurus — A very large early Cretaceous carnivorous dinosaur (105-115 m.y.a.) whose name means “high spined lizard” with the type species found in Oklahoma.
  • Amargasaurus — A relatively “new” early cretaceous (127 – 132 m.y.a.) sauropod dinosaur discovered in Argentina in 1991. The “La Amarga Lizard” featured elongated pairs of spines running from the base of the head down to the base of the neck.
  • Citipati — A late Cretaceous (75 m.y.a.) Oviraptorid dinosaur whose name is from the Sanskrit words meaning “Funeral Pyre Lord” & found in what is now the central plains of Asia. This Emu sized creature had a distinct toothless head crest and proto-feathers.
  • Edmontonia — One of the last known dinosaurs alive, this heavy tank like creature was similar to Ankylosaurus, but was from a separate family called the Nodosaurs.  
  • Parasaurolophus: With the name of “Near Saurolophus” this massive duck-billed dinosaur had a distinct elongated crest that has been shown function as a resonating chamber, possibly sending low, deep, sub-sonic sounds to herd members miles and miles away.
  • Triceratops — Easily one of the most well known and recognizable dinosaurs. “Three Horned Face” was a huge frilled dinosaur with three distinct horns on it’s face.
  • And five other species: Coclohysis, Deltadromeus, Parasaurolophus, Quetzalcoatlus and Styracosaurus.

The steel frame dinosaurs were created by Billings Productions, a Texas company specializing in state-of-the-art dinosaur exhibits for zoos, theme parks and other tourist attractions.