Explore and Learn all about Prehistoric Animals

Back in the spring we were advised about a new product being introduced into the UK, a double sided wheel that when turned revealed prehistoric animal facts and figures.  The product was to be called “Prehistoric Fact Finders” and the information on the 40 or so animals featured had been vetted and verified by Dr Paul Barrett of the Natural History museum – London.  We know Paul quite well as he has worked on a number of merchandise projects for the museum, including the Natural History museum models.  We thought this type of item would be a useful addition to our dinosaur books inventory.

Prehistoric Fact Finders

Picture courtesy of Everything Dinosaur

The Fact Finder is sealed inside a sturdy, robust clear plastic cover and the facts are revealed by turning the wheel.  The front image is dominated by a mosasaur with an Elasmosaur and Ichthyosaur swimming in the background.  On the land a Triceratops is carefully watching a group of Pterosaurs including a Rhamphorhynchoid.  Clearly this illustration is not prehistorically or palaeontologically accurate, it merely serves to illustrate the range of animals covered in the fact finding disc.  We loved the Placoderm, seen swimming in the bottom of the picture.  The Placoderm and the marine reptiles make strange bed fellows with much of the Devonian, the Carboniferous, the Permian and a good deal of the Mesozoic separating them in reality.

Still, at list the artist has been consistent, the back illustration features a Tyrannosaur and several dinosaurs more suited to the Jurassic than the very end of the Cretaceous.

The Back Cover Illustration

Test your knowledge on prehistoric animals

Picture courtesy of Everything Dinosaur

Putting aside the artistic licence the fact finder certainly delivers what it promises in terms of providing facts about prehistoric animals.  There is a wide range of animals featured, the well known ones but also some of the more unusual and less common such as Amargasaurus (a Titanosaur from South America) and Bambiraptor (the only dinosaur we know that was named after a Disney character).

By moving the wheel young dinosaur fans can learn about each animal in turn.  Facts such as the correct pronunciation of the scientific name (a godsend to all parents), what the name actually means, where the animal lived and at what time in geological history.  The Fact Finder also provides information on the size of the animal, plus what it ate and a section providing further information.  The thumbnail illustration of each creature featured gives a good impression of what the animal looked like.

The team at Everything Dinosaur received samples a few months ago, these were tested in our usual way with readers of prehistoric animal books and books about dinosaurs and the results were very favourable.  It is amazing how many snippets of information the manufacturers have crammed into the space.  We were asked to produce a report and make some recommendations which we duly did.  With members of our team actual teachers they were interested in how this product could be used in classroom exercises.  By covering up the facts it could be used to set animal quizzes and the wheel did provide an insight into animal diversity and evolution.  Children were keen to use it and the carefully crafted mix of scientific terms helped get across some basic concepts as well as assisting with their reading skills.  Best of all teacher, could secretly “crib up” on the prehistoric animal information in the hope of being able to keep up with their charges.

To view the Prehistoric Fact Finder at Everything Dinosaur: Dinosaur Books for Kids

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