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Aussie dinosaurs

Outreach
1 Hour
Book Program
Year Levels
Outreach
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Background

Dinosaurs lived between 245 and 66 million years ago, during the Mesozic Era, and their remains have been found on every continent on Earth. Despite their abundance elsewhere, less discoveries have been made in Australia because of the geology. Australia has been subject to 30 million years of erosion and weathering, therefore paleontologists have smaller areas of suitable exposed rocks to look at when searching for fossils.

Given Australia’s geographic isolation many of Australia’s dinosaurs evolved as unique species adapted to extreme conditions. Dinosaur fossils have been found mainly in the eastern half of Australia (Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria). These fossils 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 three months of winter darkness annually. These ornithopods moved around on two 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 program. It cannot be done in conjunction with the ‘Dinos and beasts’ onsite program (Level F-2) or the ‘Dinosaurs of Australia’ video conference (Level F-2) as it covers some of the same content.


Key Learning Question

How do paleontologists use evidence to learn about the types of dinosaurs that once lived in Australia?


Learning Intentions

In this program students will:

  • Discover various dinosaurs from Victoria and other parts of Australia
  • Compare and contrast the size, shape, diet and other features of various dinosaurs of Australia
  • Learn that fossils are evidence that dinosaurs once roamed Australia millions of years ago

Activities

Students will:

  • Observe various Australian dinosaurs
  • Work collaboratively to identify the diet, size, shape, movement and other features of various Australian dinosaurs that enabled them to survive
  • Compare and contrast between the various dinosaurs
  • Predict the habitat based on the features observed
  • Create a model of an Australian dinosaur

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)