All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
8 03, 2016

Celebrating International Women’s Day 2016

By | March 8th, 2016|Educational Activities, Famous Figures, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

A Blue Plaque for Mary Douglas Leakey (1913 – 1996)

Today, is International Women’s Day (March 8th), a day for recognising the role of women in our culture and society.  Within the scientific community the struggle for equality still continues, although it has drastically improved since the time of Mary Anning, Marie Stopes et al.  However, only last year, a Nobel Laureate, Sir Tim Hunt caused a substantial row when speaking at the World Conference of Science Journalists in Seoul (South Korea) stating that girls in the laboratory, in his opinion caused trouble.

We at Everything Dinosaur, don’t wish to enter into that particular debate, whether or not biochemists should insist on gender-segregation in the laboratory, but instead, we choose today to nominate one distinguished London born scientist for a blue plaque.  Mary Douglas Leakey (1913 to 1996), made an enormous contribution to our understanding of human evolution.  Along with her husband Louis, Mary proved that the cradle of mankind was Africa and she made some very notable scientific discoveries including a beautifully preserved specimen of a Proconsul Miocene Ape during an expedition to Lake Victoria in 1948.  Her most famous fossil discovery, is perhaps the Laetoli hominin footprints that are believed to be around 3.6 million years old.  In addition, without her meticulous research a number of other hugely significant fossil finds would not have been made and she almost single-handedly documented and mapped out the sequence of stone tools found at the Olduvai Gorge in northern Tanzania.

The Remarkable Mary Leakey’s Centenary was Celebrated in a Google Doodle in 2013

Celebrating the role of women in science.

Celebrating the role of women in science.

Picture Credit: Google

The Leakey Foundation and other notable institutes continues the research began by Louis and Mary Leakey and with a recent press release from English Heritage stating that only 13% of all the blue plaques in London are dedicated to women, Everything Dinosaur has today contacted English Heritage to propose that Mary Leakey be honoured.

It is now twenty years since the death of Mary, before a person is considered for a blue plaque at least two decades must have elapsed before a proposal can be put forward.

On International Women’s Day it seems fitting to add our voice to those who have called for this remarkable woman to be honoured with the provision of a blue plaque.

8 03, 2016

Dragons and Dinosaurs at Oasis Academy

By | March 8th, 2016|General Teaching, Key Stage 1/2|Comments Off on Dragons and Dinosaurs at Oasis Academy

Oasis Academy Short Heath (Dinosaurs and Dragons)

Two Year 1 classes at Oasis Academy Short Heath (West Midlands, England) were treated to a dinosaur workshop this week.  The workshops come hot on the heels of a week of studying Chinese dragons.  The whole school seems to have got involved and when the Everything Dinosaur expert arrived and began to set up in the spacious school hall, a lot of the dragons that had been made as part of a homework challenge were on display.  What a colourful collection too!

Dragons on Display at Oasis Academy Short Heath

We are not sure what the collective noun for dragons is.

We are not sure what the collective noun for dragons is.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

There were papier mâché dragons, dragons made from egg boxes, cereal packet dragons, sock dragons even some dragons that could be hung from the ceiling like a mobile.  What a clever group of parents and pupils to make such fantastic creatures.

An Amazing Array of Fantastic Dragons

Models of dragons on display at a school.

Models of dragons on display at a school.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Year 1 children will be studying dinosaurs for the rest of the Spring Term, we wonder whether they will be able to make some models of dinosaurs.

Dinosaurs and Dragons

Although dragon myths and legends are found in a number of cultures, they are principally associated with China.  Dinosaur fossils have been discovered weathering out of rocks for thousands of years and in the past, fossil bones found in China were taken to be the remains of long dead, winged, monsters – dragons.  “Dragon bones and teeth” were prized possessions thought magical with the ability to cure all manner of ills.  It is very likely that the dragon myth came about as a result of the discovery of dinosaur fossils.

Dinosaur Fossils Probably Inspired the Dragon Myth

The dragon myth was probably inspired by dinosaur bones.

The dragon myth was probably inspired by dinosaur bones.

As part of our work with the  Year 1 children we challenged the classes to have a go at designing their very own dinosaur.  We have been promised some pictures, which we are really looking forward to.  If the dragons are anything to go by, we are in for a treat.

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