All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
27 02, 2015

EYFS Children at Purston Infants School Learn About Dinosaurs

By | February 27th, 2015|Early Years Foundation Reception|Comments Off on EYFS Children at Purston Infants School Learn About Dinosaurs

EYFS Learn About Dinosaurs

Children in the Foundation Unit at Purston Infants School (West Yorkshire), have been learning all about dinosaurs this term.  The enthusiastic teaching team have been busy arranging lots of imaginative activities for the children in Lower Foundation Stage, including a super sensory bin full of pebbles and sand plus little plastic dinosaur skeletons for the children to explore.

Brushing Off Sand From the Dinosaur Skeletons

Which prehistoric animals will you find?

Which prehistoric animals will you find?

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The fossil expert who visited the school to conduct dinosaur workshops with the children in the Foundation Unit, knows the skeleton models very well.  These little plastic skeletons are great for creative, imaginative play and these skeletons featured in a picture project involving Everything Dinosaur who were challenged to create a “dinosaur bone bed”.

An Imaginary Dinosaur Bone Bed

A great teaching resource for kinaesthetic play.

A great teaching resource for kinaesthetic play.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The plastic dinosaur sets that Everything Dinosaur supplies features twelve different prehistoric animals, children really enjoyed searching for their very own dinosaur skeletons.

To see the range of teaching resources supplied by Everything Dinosaur, including sets of plastic dinosaur skeletons: Skeleton Models and Dinosaur Themed Learning Resources

Both the Lower Foundation Stage and the Upper Foundation Stage classrooms had lots of dinosaur displays.  Some children had even made models of prehistoric animals and there were some lovely dinosaur paintings posted up on the walls.

Colourful Dinosaur Inspired Pictures

EYFS create their own "dinosaur world".

EYFS create their own “dinosaur world”.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The eager, budding young palaeontologists were keen to demonstrate their knowledge telling our expert all about carnivores and herbivores (well done to Paddy for a fantastic explanation).  The younger children learned that fossils tend to feel cold and that some fossils are small and light, whilst other fossils particularly those of dinosaurs tend to be very big or even “massive” as one child exclaimed as our dinosaur expert encouraged the children to think of “wow words” to describe dinosaurs.

Praising the Everything Dinosaur team member who conducted the workshops, one of the teacher’s stated: “An enjoyable experience, the children were very responsive and enjoyed looking at the resources.”

27 02, 2015

Sir Richard Owen Gets Blue Plaque

By | February 27th, 2015|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Famous Figures, Main Page|0 Comments

Sir Richard Owen Honoured with Blue Plaque

Sir Richard Owen, the 19th Century anatomist and palaeontologist who first used the term dinosaur, has been honoured by the Society of Biology by having a blue heritage plaque installed at his former school, Lancaster Royal Grammar.  The plaque was unveiled yesterday at a small ceremony.  Blue plaques serve to act as a historical marker, indicating that a notable person was associated with a place or that an important, historical event occurred at that location.  This blue plaque commemorates that fact that Sir Richard (knighted in 1884), attended the school from 1809-1819.

The Blue Plaque Erected at Lancaster Royal Grammar School

Sir Richard Owen honoured.

Sir Richard Owen honoured.

Picture Credit: LRGS

 Undoubtedly, Sir Richard Owen was a very talented scientist and an extremely clever man.  Although he did not impress all his tutors whilst at Lancaster Grammar School.  One school master described him as “impudent” and doubted whether the son of a merchant would ever amount to very much.  Although Sir Richard gained a great deal of acclaim during his lifetime and certainty did make a huge contribution to science, by all accounts he had a very egregious character.  There are a number of accounts of him plagiarising the work of his contemporaries and he was very critical of the work of some of his peers.  For example, the then, plain Richard Owen disputed much of the evidence put forward to support the theory of natural selection as suggested by Charles Darwin in the “Origin of Species”, which was first published in 1859.  Richard Owen seemed to resent the success of others and he has earned a reputation (perhaps deserved), for being quick to condemn the work of others whilst desiring to talk up his own contribution.

To read another article about Sir Richard Owen: Remembering Sir Richard Owen”

In a glittering career, which saw him rise to the top of the Victorian scientific community, Sir Richard Owen was awarded many accolades.  He supervised the first “life-sized” prehistoric animal replicas as part of the Great Exhibition in 1851, he acquired one of the very first Archaeopteryx fossil specimens and studied it in great detail.  He described a vast array of extinct and extant animals and wrote a prestigious amount of academic literature.  Perhaps his most notable achievement was campaigning for and helping to set up the museum now known as the Natural History Museum.  Owen’s “cathedral to nature” opened in 1881.

Sir Richard Owen may be credited with coining the term “dinosaur”, but he was not the first person to note that the strange fossils of ancient animals being found in southern England and elsewhere represented a distinct group of animals.  The German palaeontologist, Hermann von Meyer stated that these ancient reptiles now known as dinosaurs should be considered a separate Order as early as 1832, around ten years before Sir Richard Owen coined the term “Dinosauria”.

A Portrait of the Young Richard Owen

A young Sir Richard Owen.

A young Sir Richard Owen.

In total ten blue plaques are been erected by the Society of Biology to commemorate the contributions to science made by “heroes of biology”.  Other recipients include: Patrick Steptoe, Jean Purdy and Robert Edwards who jointly developed IVF, leading to the world’s first test-tube baby, Louise Brown who was born in 1978, (plaque located at Dr. Kershaw’s Hospice, Oldham) and Sir Anthony Carlisle, an anatomist who helped develop the concept of producing medical statistics.

There is even a plaque being erected to “Dolly the Sheep”, the first mammal to be cloned from an adult somatic cell rather than an embryonic one.  This plaque can be seen at the Roslin Institute (part of the University of Edinburgh), where Dolly lived all her life (1996-2003).  We are not sure quite how Sir Richard Owen would feel about having a plaque erected to honour him at the same time as a sheep gets one, but we suspect that he would be desperately keen to learn more about the science of genetics, which was virtually unknown when he was alive.

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