The massive mastodon, or woolly mammoth, weighed up to 17,000 pounds and neared extinction about 10,000 years ago. Evidence suggests that diminishing food sources — shrubbery and leaves — due to warming temperatures, made it impossible for the massive animal to survive. (Cathy Bazzoni/CZS-Brookfield Zoo)

Dinosaurs won’t be roaming the grounds at Brookfield Zoo this summer, but visitors can still get their fix of animatronic prehistoric beasts starting April 1 throughout the zoological park at 8400 31st St.

Ice Age Giants includes more than two dozen life-size recreations of animals that roamed the Earth – North America and Eurasia to be exact – some 2.6 million years ago when the Quaternary Ice Age began.

The animatronic animals – including a 15-foot-tall woolly mammoth, 20-foot-long ground sloth, 12-foot-tall raptoresque bird called a teratornis, a saber-toothed cat called a smilodon and others – will be on display throughout the 216-acre park through Oct. 30.

The last teratornis soared through the sky about 11,700 years ago. This raptor-like bird with a wingspan between 10.5 and 12.5 feet, needed to fly for extended periods in search of food. Increasing temperatures forced some of the bird’s favorite aquatic foods into deeper waters, forcing the hungry flying giant to search for food on land. Once that happened, the teratornis was hunted by humans. (Cathy Bazzoni/CZS-Brookfield Zoo)

In addition to the animals, whose heads, eyes, mouths and tails move to provide life-like effects, there will be signage along pathways to take visitors back in time 20,000 years providing fun facts about the animals, where they lived and how they compare to their modern relatives.

Illustrations present a timeline of five ice ages — Huronian (2.4-2.1 billion years ago), Cryogenian (720-635 million years ago), Andean-Saharan (450-420 million years ago), Late Paleozoic (360-260 million years ago) and Quaternary (2.6 million years ago to present) – and lay out theories about how the Ice Age creatures became extinct and how some of the same threats remain for animals today.

There is no additional admission charge to see the exhibit. Regular zoo admission and parking charges apply. For more, visit