October 13, 2012

Dinosaurs Day 9: Triassic Dinosaurs

Triassic Dinosaurs
Discuss: As you learn each dinosaur on this day look up the Dino Dictionary to see how to correctly pronounce their names,and find each dinosaur on the dinosaur classification chart that we made earlier.

Dinosaur Flashcards: 

Dinosaur Journal: Draw a picture of your favorite Triassic Dinosaur.

Fabrosaurus Information
Translation: Fabre's lizard

Diet: Herbivore

Period: Triassic

Family: Fabrosauridae

Height: 1.5 feet
Length: 3.3 feet

Physical Appearance: Its shorter forelimbs bore five-fingered hands, with which it grasped the plants it ate. Its jaw was equipped with very tiny, ridged teeth, and a horny beak.

Lifestyle: Fabrosaurus' long hind legs suggest that it was a good runner.

Discovered by: Jean Fabre, a French geologist collected the fossils in Basutoland, Southern Africa.

Directions:  How many words can you make using the letters from Fabrosaurus?



Massospondylus Information
Translation: Greater Vertebrae

Diet: Herbivore

Period: Jurassic period

Family: Massospondylidae

Height: 8 feet
Length: 19 feet
Weight: 300 lbs

Physical Appearance:
Massospondylus had a long neck and tail, bulky body with massive hands.

Lifestyle: Like all prosauropods, it was equipped to travel either bipedally or on all fours.

Discovered by: The first fossils of Massospondylus were described by paleontologist Sir Richard Owen in 1854

Create a Massospondylus Nest
Discuss: The paleontologists have discovered bones, eggshell fragments and 10 egg clutches—the largest has 34 eggs—within a six-and-a-half-foot swath of siltstone. (The Massospondylus nests was 6 ½ foot in diameter with 10-34 eggs. The eggs were about 2 ½ inches in diameter and round shape like a golf ball.)

  • String
  • Scissors
  • Yard stick
  • Sticks and rocks
  • Dead grass, leaves, and other soft foilage
  • 10-34 golf balls
  1. Gather a bunch of sticks, twigs and rocks.
  2. Briefly explain what a radius and diameter of a circle are, and demonstrate how to use a compass and a ruler.
  3. The nest was 6 ½ feet in diameter so the radius would be 3 ¼ feet. Measure and cut a string the 3 ¼ feet long.
  4. One person stands in the middle of the nest holding onto one end of the string and another person hold the other end of the string and walk around the person in the middle making a circle. As the person walks he should lay down a few sticks to mark the outline of the circle.
  5. After you have the outline laid down then add more and more sticks and rocks to the outline of the nest. 
  6. Then the child can add grass, leaves and other foliage to the inside of the nest. (Explain that this may not have been how the dinosaurs made nests but we are creating it from what we know about nests now, mainly birds nests).
  7. Next add the golf ball eggs (the child can paint them to look more like dinosaur eggs if you don't mind painted golf balls. Explain that we are not sure what color the eggs were so they can make them any color.)
  8. Play make believe Massospondylus' with the nest.

Plateosaurus Information
Translation: Flat Lizard

Diet: Herbivore

Period: Triassic

Family: Plateosauridae

Height: 10 feet
Length: 26 feet
Weight: 4,000 pounds

Physical Appearance: It had a long neck, very long tail, a small head with a long snout, and large, five-fingered hands with a large thumb claw. Its back legs were larger than its front legs.

Lifestyle: Plateosaurus may have congregated in herds, and may have migrated seasonally across the arid.

Discovered by: Plateosaurus is one of the most common dinosaur fossils found in Europe; it has been found in over 50 European locations. It was first named by the German paleontologist Hermann von Meyer in 1837. (Find Europe on the world globe).

Directions:  J filled in the Plateosaurus Information Page to review what he learned.

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