Mystery Dino

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences researchers discovered fossils of an unknown dinosaur while working in Utah. Using only a few bones, they'll learn the creature's size, diet, age and other features, and this mystery dinosaur could become the museum's first holotype, the example with which other species are described.

NGSS Performance Expectation: Analyze and interpret data from fossils to provide evidence of the organisms and the environments in which they lived long ago.

Grade 4 NC Essential Science Standard: Earth History Compare fossils to one another and to living organisms.

Grade 8 NC Essential Science Standard: Earth History — Understand the history of Earth and its life forms based on evidence of change recorded in fossil records and landforms.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why is it important to have rules and regulations for naming things?
  2. What do the researchers look at to determine what ecological role the dinosaur played in his/her community?
  3. What did the researcher analyze?
  4. What did they infer?
  5. How are dinosaurs like living birds today?
  6. What is the evidence that birds evolved from dinosaurs?

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