EAGAN, Minn. (KMSP) - It’s a period of time that scientists are still trying to piece together, but an artist here in the Twin Cities is able to bring some of the dinosaurs back to life.
Walking into Blue Rhino studio in Eagan, Minnesota, is like taking a step back in time.
"I get to be the person that I wanted to be when I was six. I'm working on pterosaurs and dinosaurs…what's not to like about that," said artist Kevin Beaudin.
The studio is putting the finishing touches on a pair of pterosaurs - prehistoric creatures the size of giraffes with the wingspan of fighter jets - for an upcoming museum exhibit.
The models are sculpted from foam, then covered in fiberglass and detailed with a special clay-like substance to look as realistic as possible.
“This is something no one has ever had the opportunity to see. We are working with the people who have the best knowledge of what these should look like to bring their visions to life," said Tim Quady with Blue Rhino Studios.
The artists at Blue Rhino have created models of everything from wooly mammoths and mastodons to paleo-Indian hunters for museums, visitors centers and zoos around the world.
In fact, their work for a cultural center in Kuwait was recently featured in National Geographic Magazine.
“We are like the education gateway drug,” Quady said. "We're the people who are going to capture their imagination and make them want to learn more."
The creatures they build may have died out millions of years ago, but they hope to inspire a fascination with the natural world that never goes extinct.
“The wonder of it [is] this animal lived. It’s the size of a jet aircraft and it lived. It’s sort of amazing," Beaudin said.