Friday, July 20, 2012

Paleontology Adventure 1

Our first week of Paleontology camp has been great! We have been learning all about Prehistoric Life.

On Monday, we checked out dinosaur sizes by drawing a T-Rex and an Apatosaurus on the sidewalk outside of the museum. We also learned about the basic building blocks that form dinosaur names and their meanings. Afterwards, we created our own dinosaur and named it using the Greek and Latin bases we learned about!

The head of the Apatosaurus

Our amber
Tuesday, we discussed geologic time periods. We took a tour of the ‘Life Through the Ages’ exhibit on the second floor, and we made a timeline outside using the periods and animals we learned about on our tour. On Tuesday, we also made our very own amber using glue, food coloring, and plastic ants.

The Smilodon for the Timeline
John working on making his amber.


Wednesday, we looked inside the museum’s special fossil drawer and learned about how fossils form. We were even able to touch some real fossils such as a dinosaur coprolite and gastroliths! Using plaster and trilobite molds, we created our very own casts to take home! We also did an experiment that recreated the La Brea Tar Pits and demonstrated the excellent animal preservation that occurred.

Thursday, we talked about the differences between Mammoths and Mastodons. We also had a presentation on the hunting of mastodons and created casts of clovis points to take home with us. 


Did you survive?
During the Extinction of the Giant Animals Game we each pretended to be a different species of animal. In order for our species to survive, we had to collect a certain number of water, food, and space tokens.  This game demonstrated the two main theories of the extinction of Megafauna during the Ice Age (overpopulation and destruction of the environment).
Playing the Extinction Game


Turner's group putting together the Stegosaurus.

On Friday, we learned about paleontology. We dug for wooden dinosaur bones in a sand pit using brushes to carefully brush away the dirt just as a real paleontologist would. We then took the pieces we found and assembled a 3-D Stegosaurus. We also created dioramas to display in a museum using small models of dinosaurs!


Look at that dinosaur habitat!

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