GO IN DEPTH

Fossils and Dinosaurs

Fossils and Dinosaurs Michael Gray, Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic via Wikimedia Commons

Introduction

Have you ever wondered how it is that we know so much about dinosaurs? By using the resources listed on this esheet, you will learn more about fossils and how they help us understand what dinosaurs were like.


Exploration

Begin your exploration by going to All About Sue, which is a site about the T. Rex on display at the Field Museum. While there, you should read through each of the tabs: Sue's Significance, Sues's Vital Stats, Sue's Senses, and Sue's World.

As you go through this resource, think about answers to these questions. You can record your answers on the Fossils and Dinosaurs student sheet:

  • What do we know about Sue?

  • How do we know all of these things?

  • What is the significance of finding Sue?

  • How do we know this? 


After you go through the fossilization activity with your class, watch Fossils. You will discuss the main points of the fossilization process with your class You can record your thoughts and answers on your student sheet.

  • An animal must get buried fairly quickly.

  • Why must it be buried quickly? 

  • How might it be buried? 

  • Water helps bury the animal in sediment. 

  • Soft parts decay.

  • Sediment presses down and sand hardens to rock forming a fossil.


Knowledge Check

As part of your final assignment for this lesson, you should visit these resources:

  • Fighting Dinos, from the American Museum of Natural History's Ology website, uses fossil evidence to tell the story of a deadly clash between two dinosaurs.

  • Science of Sue, from The Field Museum site, describes what researchers have learned from studying Sue - the largest, most complete, and best preserved Tyrannosaurus rex ever discovered.

After you have explored these resources, pretend you are in the shoes of a paleontologist (a person who studies dinosaur fossils). Use the Junior Paleontologist student sheet to help you describe the dinosaur you study.


This esheet is a part of the Fossils 1: Fossils and Dinosaurs lesson.

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Esheet Details

Grades Project 2061 Benchmarks
AAAS