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In prehistory

Somewhere between the big bang and the day the first ape stood upright and began to walk on two legs, huge hungry creatures roamed the Earth, eating and fighting each other and creating jungly mayhem. These monsters of the distant, nonhuman past have both an air of paradise and danger that has inspired writers, artists and now filmmakers again and again. And again. After the blazing success of Jurassic Park and the subsequent The Lost World, Universal is gearing up for a third dinosaur flick. In preparation for this, America's largest traveling dinosaur exhibit is making its rounds. The Dinosaurs of Jurassic Park: The Lost World has landed here at Raleigh's N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences until Jan. 15. Not that the show should be sold short as a mere marketing vehicle; it's got some absolutely terrific stuff, including props from the movies, videos, interactive displays, Jeff Goldblum's Extinction Theater, a 70-foot-long Mamenchisaurus, and a Stegosaurus mother and baby. (A Velociraptor is pictured.) Special paleontology lectures in October and a fossil hunt Nov. 11 promise to please the most fanatic of dinosaur fans. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for seniors and children age 4 to 11. For more details, call 733-7450.

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