Meet the least significant but perhaps most bizarre victims of Hurricane Sandy: some thirty-odd life-sized animatronic dinosaurs currently residing in the Meadowlands of New Jersey.
Assembled in China and rather fittingly installed along the base of Snake Hill in Secaucus last spring, the assorted robotic reptiles form the primary attractions of Field Station: Dinosaurs, a kind of less hazardous 22-acre Jurassic Park that has spent the last year hosting school groups, ecstatic seven-year-old paleontologists, a Weird New Jersey get together, and other curious onlookers.
But given the park's somewhat temporary design as a field research station of tents and trailers—and the sheer immobility of the 90-foot Argentinasaurus, for instance—the attractions were forced to weather Hurricane Sandy (and Frankenstorm) outdoors in their fixed positions.
The specimens were knocked down hills, punctured by flying branches, and suffered various other indignities. such as being cut open for repairs and installation of new parts and motors that allow the dinosaurs to paw at the air, snap intimidatingly life-sized jaws, or (most subtly but convincingly) breath in and out. Hence these photos from within the the ranks of scenic painters and set designers from New York and New Jersey who came in to glue, sew, reconstruct, seal, and repaint the dinosaurs to restore them to lifelike condition in time for reopening in the spring.
In addition to the aforementioned Argentinasaurus, these include a trio of Tyranosaurs, popular favorites of my childhood like the Stegosaurus and Apatasaurus, various Pterodactyloids, a set of (apparently accurately) pint-sized raptors, and New Jersey's Official State Dinosaur, the Hadrosaurus.
All of which should leave us with one burning question: why does New York still lack its own state dinosaur and which species should we be lobbying Albany for right now?
Nate Dorr is a photographer living in Brooklyn