My company has perfected its gene modifying technique.We can create life-sized hybrids of dinosaurs, with the exact appetite and behaviour as the original species (at least according to our advice from many self-proclaimed experts).

However, I would like my dinosaur theme park to look like the natural environment of several hundreds of millions of years ago, without electric fences. My concern is, would glass capable of keeping livestock as mighty as spinosaurus and T-rex, be a good replacement for high powered electric fences? Your safety is our number one priority (second to our work). Is there anything better than thick glass which I can use?

As I am currently experiencing an astronomically high turnover rate of both security officers and shepherds right now, please expedite, thanks.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – James Dec 11 at 16:46

10 Answers 10

up vote 55 down vote accepted

Let's consider an entirely different approach from the tried and tested "zoo" model. Unfortunately it seems that when confronted by actual dinosaurs, this model has consistently been shown to be inadequate.

What I would advise instead is construction of aerial road and walkways. Elevated concrete platforms from where the visitors to your theme park can observe the activities of the dinosaurs below from a safe location. This allows your visitors to remain safe from escaped raptors even when the power inevitably fails.

It also allows the dinosaurs to roam free in their constructed "natural" habitats without confinement. While ideally separate habitats should be maintained on individual islands, should it be be necessary to confine certain creatures away from others, high concrete walls combined with moats should be used. The moat adding an extra barrier to prevent climbing plants from allowing creatures to gain a foothold and climb the walls.

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    Impressive do away with fence entirely, that's very clever beside nobody enjoy looking at their sensitive parts. – user6760 Dec 6 at 8:46
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    @K.Price, building an aviary is an entirely different game, especially with large pterosaurs there may be no practical way to contain them. – Separatrix Dec 6 at 10:09
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    @K.Price Use your thick glass to enclose the walkways. And have robots that run a short distance along the tubes and back to clean the dino-droppings off them. – Chronocidal Dec 6 at 11:16
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    @Damon, Anchiornis huxleyi, late Jurassic 34-40 cm – WendyG Dec 6 at 12:53
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    @Chronocidal make the glass tube an actual glass tube around the walkway... make it spinnable. Put a corridor next to (or under) the tube where workers or robots can clean the tube > spin it 10% > clean that part > spin it further > clean the next part... st2.depositphotos.com/5416540/9878/i/950/… – WernerCD Dec 6 at 15:25

There is one problem with using electrified wires to stop dinosaurs. Yes, they can get hurt by electricity and move away, but what happens if one of those heavy beasts falls unconscious on the wires? Will they withstand the load or snap?

And you should already know that a snapped wire is no wire when it comes to halting hungry animals.

On the other hand, we have already experience with bulletproof sandwich glasses, which can take care even of a .50 BMG shot. Mind, sandwich bulletproof glass, not just thick glass!

As additional safety I would also add a semi-reflective layer, so that the dinosaurs do not see through it and do not attempt crossing it (but you need to check how they react to their reflected image).

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    It's a great idea! Your convex reflective glass will produce much bigger reflection and will scare the shit out of any Dino👍👍👍 – user6760 Dec 6 at 8:31
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    Until the dino tries to fight/mate with the reflection :s – Tim B Dec 6 at 9:51
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    @Tim B: I hope the glass would hold up in that case because this kind of excitement must be very shattering ;) – user6760 Dec 6 at 10:01
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    Just because bulletproof glass resists localized shattering does not mean the it is stronger under applied loads than regular glass. – WhatRoughBeast Dec 7 at 15:23
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    At least dinosaurs can see electrified wires - if you're concerned with the dinosaurs becoming injured, wait until a t-rex runs full speed into a glass panel he can't see. Granted their top speed may only be around 15mph, but even if you can build a glass wall strong enough to stop a 10 ton 15mph t-rex, I don't think it's going to walk off unscathed. – Johnny Dec 7 at 23:44

An electric fence has a finite maximum strength, before it becomes, well, an electric solid wall.

A glass wall, or more likely something like polycarbonate, can be arbitrarily thick, thus there is no practical limit on the strength of your walls. For any reasonable thickness, you can even ensure transparency.

Added advantage of using a solid wall, is that you can isolate adjacent enclosures. No spreading of pathogens, different climates are ok, you could even play around with different atmospheric compositions, if your specimens come from radically different timeperiods and thus differing atmospheric requirements. Remember that earth's atmosphere has varied in temperature , pressure and oxygen levels by a couple of magnitudes, over geologic timespans.

Separatrix has come up with the excellent idea of raised walkways. I'd like to point out a problem and propose a solution.

  1. Bridges over freeways/motorways are typically 5 meters high. Large herbivorous dinosaurs would be blocked from moving underneath them and an adult tyrannosaurus can grow up to 6 meters. With a stretch they could grab tourists at that height.

  2. To clear the height of a passing Sauroposeidon would require a bridge with a clearance of 18.5 metres (approx 60 feet). Those who have watched traffic from a bridge over a motorway will know that even at the much lower height of 5 metres, a lot of detail is lost. Smaller creatures would be difficult to see.

Proposed solution

Have walkways/driveways as proposed by Separatrix but have them 20 metres tall. The supporting pillars contain a stairway or lift so that visitors can descend to ground level. At the bottom are strong curved glass panels. In the event that a raptor tries to attack through the glass there are steel shutters that are triggered by proximity sensors. The tourist can meanwhile take the stairs or the lift to safety. There is a rotating overlapping mechanism such that window cleaners can access the outside of the glass whilst sheltering behind the shutters. Floodlights can be used at night fixed underneath the walkway where dinos can't reach and the tourists won't have their night vision disturbed.

  • Why not just covered walkways like you see in many aquariums? – Michael J. Dec 6 at 18:49
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    @ Michael J. I thought of that but (a) enormous herbivores whose eyesight may not be great (think of a rhinoceros in modern-day terms) would continually be tripping over them or even standing on them. Glass isn't going to cope with uneven pressure like that - water pressure is spread evenly. (b) Who is going to go outside with a mop and brush to clean it? A mechanised cleaning system would be hugely expensive. (c) Raptors are going to try and attack through the glass. There's a good chance they'll succeed or simply cause panic with people rushing to get out. (d) ventilation. – chasly from UK Dec 6 at 21:51
  • "...an adult tyrannosaurus can grow up to 6 meters. With a stretch they could grab tourists at that height." No risk of that with T-rex, not with those stubby arms. What it will be is extremely frustrated, with snacks wandering around at eye-level and no way to get them – nzaman Dec 7 at 6:27
  • I wouldn't worry that much about the raptors, they're only 2ft high. Like being attacked by angry geese. – Separatrix Dec 7 at 7:58

No matter what you choose to use make sure you have at least 2 layers of defense. That way if the first layer is breached the second layer will give you enough time to evacuate everyone from the area and contain the breach.

You could try electrified wire attached to a clear polycarbonate wall, that way you get the wire keeping them away from the wall and a wall protecting the wire, in case a dino were to charge it or fall onto it. Just make sure you have another wall/fence setup past this for in case any dino makes its way around the first one.

As @LDutch pointed out, glass is plenty strong enough and you could use one-way glass.

You don't need to make it reflective, either. Could instead have it appear like a grey cliff from one side, transparent but slightly tinted from the other side: google "one way vision privacy films" for similar tech.

The big problem I see is cleaning the glass. Dinosaurs are going to be wallowing in mud and then rubbing their muddy selves up against the glass, and so on. Pollen, dust, etc will need cleaning off.

Zoos generally handle cleaning by having enclosures in two halves ("indoors" and "outdoors", typically), and locking the animals in one half while cleaning the other half. Doesn't even need herding, as animals naturally seek night shelter and go out foraging for food in the day.

This should work fine for dinosaurs too.

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    There is no "one-way" glass -- it's all based on lighting, so you need to make sure the 'people side' is kept darker than the 'dinosaur side'. And don't allow flash photography. – Johnny Dec 7 at 23:41

I suggest you buy a large tropical island and use thick reinforced concrete for wall separating landing pad/harbor area or research buildings from preserve areas. Add thick steel gate to enter into preserves and offer tours in camo painted cars surplus military vehicles, IFVs should do, I don't think tanks proper are needed.

That setup should keep you, your personnel and your customers safe from any land dwelling dinosaurs, you are not keeping airborne or aquatic dinosaurs, are you?

  • Yes those animals too, but no worry my guys make sure to punch many holes across their wings and fins... – user6760 Dec 6 at 8:57
  • @user6760 until a secret baby is born... – WendyG Dec 6 at 12:42
  • The price of genetic engineering has probably dropped like a rock. Encasing an entire island with 3' thick glass enclosures hasn't. Concrete, +1. – Mazura Dec 6 at 22:33

Glass tough enough to stop a dinosaur is expensive

Moats are a good idea, but some dinosaurs can swim.

I suggest you purchase a disused quarry or opencast mine with near vertical walls, seal off any exits and landscape it to look greener and more valley like. Granite quarries are particularly good, something like this: https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-rock-of-ages-granite-quarry-in-barry-vermont-usa-47417577.html.

I agree with others that elevated walkways are the best. Oh, and cable cars. If the cable breaks, you don't need to worry about getting eaten because you won't survive the fall (or will you?)

  • Growing dinosaurs from DNA is also expensive, so the cost of the enclosure to show them off is probably trivial in comparison. – Johnny Dec 7 at 23:42

Nothing like the real thing: it will cost you but we can build you a barrier with your specifications and make it worthwhile: they will be made of stone. One side of the stones will be carefully preserved to look natural to other side would be completed and reenforced with stones and concrete. We can even build you observation post with dark glass along the wall, and a driveway on top.

Take a look to the georgia aquarium.

"With 4,574 square feet of viewing windows, a 100-foot-long underwater tunnel, 185 tons of acrylic windows and one of the largest viewing windows in the world at 23 feet tall by 61 feet wide and 2 feet thick [61 cm in SI], visitors will have multiple opportunities to view all of these magnificent animals."

Their website

If this can handle 6.3 million gallons of water I think that will handle dinosaurs too. Of course, the force distribution is not the same : dinosaurs would be more likely to charge against the glass but a 2 feet thickness is huge !

protected by James Dec 9 at 4:23

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