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Although they certainly never went out of fashion, dinosaurs are enjoying a resurgence in popularity because of the recent release of Disney’s animated Dinosaur movie. If all the related dinosaur hoopla is spurring a dino interest in your household, here are some educational sites to explore together.
Bonus: Dig These Dinosaurs
These twelve fun dino activities from Bonus.com are categorized into three age groups. The easiest activities are coded with a beach ball for ages three to six. Those for seven to elevens are marked with stars. And the most advanced (for ages twelve to fifteen) are labeled with an owl icon. My three favorite clicks are the Dinosaur Imposters (“It is your job to interrogate them and weed out the â€˜imposter-saurs.'”), Dino Science (“Test your knowledge of dinosaur anatomy by matching the skeletons with their skulls.”) and Dino Puzzle (“Put together a dinosaur skeleton and make it come alive!”)
Discovering Dinosaurs, from Britannica.com, explores “how our conception of dinosaurs has evolved in the 150 years since the creatures were first â€˜discovered.’ Despite 66 million years of extinction, dinosaurs continue to change as we do, because they exist as much in our science and imagination as they do deep within the ground, in scattered fossil remnants.” For middle and high school students (and adults) this site is arranged on a grid time line, exploring science’s view of dinosaur environment, anatomy, behavior and physiology. The activity guide is superb.
Sue at the Field Museum
Who is Sue? “Sue is the largest, most complete, and best preserved Tyrannosaurus rex. She was discovered by fossil hunter Sue Hendrickson in 1990, in the badlands of South Dakota.” Following a long custody battle, Sue was sold at Sotheby’s auction house October 4, 1997. The Field Museum purchased Sue for nearly $8.4 million â€“ the most money ever paid for a fossil.
Walking with Dinosaurs
There are so many ways to explore this BBC site (my pick-of-the-day!) it’s hard to decide where to begin. I suggest clicking on Today’s Choice to view the Flash episode of the day. And, since fun is such an important part of learning, don’t miss the Games and Quizzes — which is where you will find the dinosaur Web cam (the only one of its kind on the WHOLE Internet.)
“Last seen alive 68 million years ago in an area now called Alberta in Canada. Has powerful jaws and sharp teeth, but poses no immediate danger. Evidence of an Albertosaurus mass burial found about 90 years ago, but exact site not known. Information leading to its whereabouts requested by dino detective Phillip Currie.” Learn how real-life palaeontologist Currie tracked down the missing burial site. Curie and his team have, so far, unearthed the remains of twelve Albertosaurs, evidence that these carnivores probably lived in packs.