Learning Objects (10)
Direct Access Links:
All About Dinosaurs (Natural History Museum)
How Palaeontologists Learn about Dinosaurs (Natural History Museum)
Dinosaur National Monument (National Park Service)
Dino Significance (National Park Service)
What Killed the Dinosaurs? (Natural History Museum)
How Dinosaurs Evolved into Birds (Natural History Museum)
Why Birds Survived Dinosaur Extinction (Natural History Museum)
Discovering Dinosaur Eggs (National Geographic)
Here’s Why Dinosaurs Matter (TED)
How to Make a T. rex origami Dinosaur (Natural History Museum)
Explore the world of dinosaurs, reviewing the habitat and physical characteristics of each type. Learn about the massive extinction that killed the dinosaurs, other animals and plant life. Plan a trip the Dinosaur National Monument to see the remains of approximately 1,500 dinosaur bones embedded in rock. In the meantime, make your own dinosaur, out of origami.
Ever since they were first identified in the 1800s, dinosaurs have sparked the imagination of kids and adults alike. Explore the history of these prehistoric reptiles and find out how Museum science continues to reveal insights about what dinosaurs looked like and how they lived. Watch dinosaur videos, take our quiz to find out which dinosaur you’re most like and try our dinosaur crafts and activities for kids (and big kids).
Palaeontologists – the scientists that study extinct life – have a surprising array of tools for examining the fossilised remains of animals and plants to determine how they might have appeared and behaved when alive.
Dinosaurs once roamed here at Dinosaur National Monument, located in both Colorado and Utah. Quarry Exhibit Hall allows visitors to gaze upon the remains of approximately 1,500 dinosaur bones embedded in the rocks. Dinosaur species include Allosaurus, Apatosaurus, Camarasaurus, Diplodocus, and Stegosaurus and more. Exhibits, including an 80-foot long mural, reveal the story of these animals and many others that lived in the Morrison environment during the late Jurassic. There are even several places where you can touch real 149 million year old dinosaur fossils!
Read 10 significant facts about dinosaurs and the Dinosaur National Monument.
The fossil record shows that for the first 175 million years of their existence, dinosaurs took on a huge variety of forms as the environment changed and new species evolved that were suited to these new conditions. Dinosaurs that failed to adapt went extinct.
But then 66 million years ago, over a relatively short time, dinosaurs disappeared completely (except for birds). Many other animals also died out, including pterosaurs, large marine reptiles, and ammonites.
Birds that fill the world’s skies today are living dinosaurs, reminders of a distant and strange past. Decades of major new discoveries and studies have convinced researchers that there is a direct link between modern bird species and theropod dinosaurs.
After more than 140 million years in charge, the reign of the dinosaurs came to an abrupt end when a huge asteroid strike and massive volcanic eruptions caused disastrous changes to the environment. Only birds remained. Over the next 66 million years, birds evolved in many ways, which enabled them to survive in lots of different habitats. Today there are at least 11,000 bird species.
Considering their breathtaking adaptations, such as titanic size, devastating power, extravagant plumage, razor-sharp teeth and bizarre spines, plates, horns and clubs, the public adoration for them is not surprising.
According to research on the fossilized pigments from ancient eggs, dinosaurs picked up the habit of making their shells in a rainbow of hues more than 145 million years ago.
See the origami model above and give it a try!
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Ontology Tags Animals Big & Small: (1) Animal Sociology – Ecosystems & Habitation (2) Wildlife Insights & Conservation – Extinct Species | Climate & Weather: (1) Climate Literacy – Climate Change (2) Natural Disasters – Volcanoes | Weather Far & Wide – Asteroids, Comets & Meteors
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