Animatronic 15 Foot T-Rex Visits West Orange Public Library

Wrangler Jackson Eater introduces T-Rex to the crowd. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
The Library room is packed with captivated kids and parents. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
Troubador Geoff leads the kids in the 'Dimetrodon Dance.' Credits: Cynthia Cumming
Some children shyly approached T-Rex. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
T-Rex gets their 15 minutes of fame. Credits: Cynthia Cumming

WEST ORANGE, NJ - Children were captivated by Monday's T-Rex visit to the West Orange Public Library.  T-Rex and his friends stopped by as part of Field Station Dinosaur's Summer visits to local libraries, and the event room was full of enthusiastic mini-Paleontologists asking and answering questions, clapping, and dancing.

For example: what is the Official State Dinosaur of New Jersey?  The question was asked by Troubador Geoff (Geoff Moonen).  The answer: the Hadrosaurus Foulkii, one of the dinosaurs in the duckbill family.  In fact, the only complete skeleton of a hadrosaur was discovered in Haddonfield in 1858.  It is currently housed at the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences.  

Troubador Geoff sang a song for the children (ages 3-11) about dinosaurs and searching for fossils all over New Jersey, taught them the 'Dimetrodon Dance' and read from Chris Gall's book "Dinotrux." He also introduced the audience to "Wrangler Jackson" (Jackson Eater). Both were dressed in khaki-type zoo uniforms.  Troubador Geoff led the audience outside to meet the star attraction - Field Station Dinosaur's 15-foot animatronic T-Rex puppet, operated by puppetmaster Chris Palmieri.  Wrangler Jackson worked with the T-Rex to entertain the children for about 10 minutes.  

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On Thursday, July 18 at 7 p.m., the Library will be featuring music inspired by great books, like the Wizard of Oz, the Bible, Gone With the Wind, and the James Bond book series by Ian Fleming.  Music will be performed by outstanding West Orange musicians Dave Rimelis and Matt King as part of the Can You Dig It? summer reading program.

WOPL is also one of the West Orange cooling centers open this week to beat the heat. There's always something going on at the West Orange Public Library for children, teens, and adults.  Check out their website at for more info.


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