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Dinos & beasts

Ecolinc
Full Day
Book Program
Year Levels
Engage
Explore
Explain
Elaborate
Evaluate
E-Rating
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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 in 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.

The extinction of dinosaurs 65 million years ago left a void of large land animals. Over millions of years, the surviving mammals, birds and reptiles evolved to include some very large animals. Australia’s megafauna were unique, and included giant marsupials such as Procoptodon (related to our kangaroos), huge flightless birds such as Genyornis (a distant relative of today’s ducks and geese) and giant reptiles such as Megalania (related closely to goannas and the Komodo Dragon).

Australia has many fossil sites. Paleontologists have discovered fossils of the earliest animals on Earth and of the largest dinosaurs. They have even unearthed fossils of giant megafauna that once lived alongside humans.

Come to Ecolinc to discover some of the amazing dinosaurs and megafauna that once roamed where we live today and the fossils they left behind.

Note: Schools that book in for this program are advised not to book the ‘Aussie Dinosaurs’ outreach program or the ‘Dinosaurs of Australia’ video conference as they cover some of the same content.


Prior Knowledge

No prior knowledge is required.


Learning Intentions

In this progam students will:

  • Discover various dinosaurs & megafauna of Victoria & other parts of Australia
  • Learn that fossils are evidence of those dinosaurs that once roamed Australia millions of years ago
  • Learn that fossils are evidence of those megafauna that once roamed Australia over 100,000 years ago
  • Compare and contrast the size, shape, diet and other features of various dinosaurs and megafauna of Australia
  • Understand the meanings of fossils and Palaeontologists
  • Learn how they can identify various Australian dinosaurs & megafauna
  • Compare and contrast between Australian animals & Australian Megafauna

Activities

Students will:

  • Become aware of various dinosaurs and megafauna of Australia
  • Pretend to be Paleontologists
  • Become part of the palaeontology team that uncovers megafauna fossils.
  • Match images of megafauna to Australian animals
  • Sing and move to the “I am a Paleontologist” song
  • Create a model of an Australian dinosaur out of plasticine.

Victorian Curriculum

Science - Science as a human endeavour

  • People use science in their daily lives (VCSSU041)

Science – Biological Science

  • 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)
  • Living things grow, change and have offspring similar to themselves (VCSSU043)

Science Inquiry Skills - Questioning and predicting

  • Respond to and pose questions, and make predictions about familiar objects and events (VCSIS050)

Science Inquiry Skills - Planning and conducting

  • Participate in guided investigations, including making observations using the senses, to explore and answer questions (VCSIS051)

Recording and processing

  • Use informal measurements in the collection and recording of observations (VCSIS052)
  • Use a range of methods, including drawings and provided tables, to sort information (VCSIS053)

Science Inquiry Skills - Analysing and evaluating

  • Compare observations and predictions with those of others (VCSIS054)
  • Represent and communicate observations and ideas about changes in objects and events in a variety of ways (VCSIS055)

History – Historical Knowledge

  • The history of a significant person, building, site or part of the natural environment in the local community and what it reveals about the past (VCHHK063)