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Aussie dinosaurs

Outreach
1.5 Hours Per Group
Book Program
Year Levels
Outreach
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Background

Dinosaur remains have been found on every continent on Earth and we know these creatures dominated the planet’s ecosystems for around 140 million years. But despite their abundance elsewhere, few discoveries have been made in Australia. Given Australia’s geographic isolation many of Australia’s dinosaurs evolved as unique species adapted to extreme conditions.

Australia’s dinosaurs are known mainly from fragmentary fossils. Dinosaur fossils have been found mainly in the Eastern half of Australia (Queensland, New South Wales & Victoria). Today these fossils from these amazing creatures give us insight into what they might have looked like and how they may have lived.

Victoria may have had one of the world’s most diverse array of small ornithopod dinosaurs, which had a surprisingly hardy ability to survive at least 3 months of winter darkness annually. These ornithopods moved around on 2 legs, ate plants, lived together in herds for safety, and included unique features such as large eyes for the gloomy light.


Prior Knowledge

No prior knowledge is required.

This is a stand-alone outreach program. It cannot be done in conjunction with ‘Australian Dinosaurs’ Video Conference (Level F-2) or ‘Dino’s and Beasts’ onsite program (Level F-2) as it covers some of the same content.


Learning Intentions

In this progam students will:

  • Discover various dinosaurs of Australia
  • Learn that fossils are evidence of those dinosaurs that once roamed Australia millions of years ago
  • Compare and contrast the size, shape, diet and other features of Australian dinosaurs
  • Understand the meanings of fossils and Palaeontologists
  • Learn how they can identify various Australian dinosaurs

Activities

Students will:

  • Observe various dinosaurs of Australia
  • Pretend to be Paleontologists
  • Work together with a partner to identify the diet, size, shape, movement and other features of various Australian dinosaurs
  • Compare and contrast between the various dinosaurs
  • Make inferences, based on their observations, regarding the environment in which these dinosaurs lived and how it was able to survive in that environment
  • Sing and move to the “I am a Paleontologist” song
  • Create a model of an Australian dinosaur out of plasticine.

Victorian Curriculum

Science – Biological sciences

  • Living things have a variety of external features and live in different places where their basic needs, including food, water and shelter, are met (VCSSU042)

Science – Inquiry Skills

  • Participate in guided investigations, including making observations using the senses, to explore and answer questions (VCSIS051)
  • Compare observations and predictions with those of others (VCSIS054)