It's doubtful if dutiful parents would be so keen to take the nippers off to see the latest animatronic collection of life-size Velociraptors and friends if they were aware of the charming psychiatric theory that the dinosaur represents the adult dark side to many children (think about it: big, on the rampage, impervious to reason, liable to turn on you at the drop of a crayon).

On the other hand, anything that keeps the little diddums cheerfully occupied on a Bank Holiday weekend is to be welcomed and dinosaurs will do it every time: commentators who thought that the fad had peaked with Jurassic Park (now the most financially successful film ever) were wrong. Not with two more Spielberg dino-movies on the way (The Flintstones and the animated We're Back]), Whoopi Goldberg about to co-star with a T Rex and London Zoo unveiling Extinction on 28 May.

Extinction is the zoo's biggest-ever exhibition and (spot the deliberate contradiction) 'aims to bring to life the story of extinct and disappearing animals' - bring on the mammoths, the dodo, the tigers . . . Parents will probably be more appreciative of the upbeat educational slant than their offspring, who will doubtlessly be fruitfully engaged imitating mummy and daddy, ie pretending to eat caveman and stomp on buildings. Hell, if it keeps them occupied . . .

Extinction, London Zoo, Regent's Park, NW1 (071-722.3333). Open 10.00am-5.30pm daily. Adults pounds 6.50, children (4-14) pounds 4

(Photograph omitted)