They are hugely popular and interesting animals that continue to fascinate young and old alike.

But thanks to their extinction millions of years ago, you’re never going to be able see dinosaurs close up in a zoo – or are you?

Thanks to some time-travel magic (ok, a new attraction for the summer holidays) from the Zoological Society of London, you can now get a glimpse at what it might be like if these colossal creatures still existed.

Unlike a similarly named novel and movie in which cloning was used, ZSL has relied on animatronics rather than mad science for its Zoorassic Park.

London Zoo visitors start their adventure by collecting passports which contain fun challenges for little ones to complete on their way round.

They then embark on a safari trail that introduces them to the Regent's Park zoo’s newest herd of animals – a collection of impressive life-size, moving models depicting dinosaurs such as the brachiosaurus, tyrannosaurus rex, triceratops and edmontonia.

With the dinosaurs making noises as well as movements, it’s an enjoyable and immersive exhibition – and a slightly wet one too if you get too close to one of them that spits.

It’s extra fun seeing the dinosaurs in the open air rather than indoors such as at the Natural History Museum and it’s hard not to get swept up in the Jurassic Park theme, but there’s also a serious conservation lesson alongside the novelty value.

The sobering message, relayed via a video at the end of the trail, is we need to protect what we’ve got to avoid many of today’s endangered animals going the same way as the dinosaurs in the near future.

Entry to Zoorassic Park is included in the cost of zoo entry, with the attraction open until September 3.