All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
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Everything Dinosaur’s work with schools and other educational bodies. Articles, features and stories about dinosaurs and their role in education and educating young people.

18 03, 2018

Answering Questions About Diplodocus

By | March 18th, 2018|Adobe CS5, Educational Activities, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

Class 1 at Ysgol Bro Carmel Enquire About Diplodocus

The children in class 1 at Ysgol Bro Carmel Nursery and Primary School in North Wales have been learning all about dinosaurs this term.  The class teacher, Mrs Metcalfe emailed Everything Dinosaur and explained that as part of the diverse and varied teaching programme, the eager, young palaeontologists had some questions about Diplodocus for us.  A Diplodocus had been spotted in the school yard and the children had been writing instructions on how to trap this long-necked dinosaur.  Could Everything Dinosaur offer some assistance?

Diplodocus on Display at the Natural History Museum (London)

Diplodocus skeleton on display.

Diplodocus on display in a museum, this long-necked dinosaur is proving to be very popular with the Class 1 children at Ysgol Bro Carmel.

Answering Questions About Dinosaurs and Diplodocus

What Did Dinosaurs Eat?

Palaeontologists can work out what extinct dinosaurs liked to eat by looking at their fossilised teeth.  The shape of the teeth can tell a scientist a lot about the type of food that dinosaurs ate.  The teeth of Velociraptor are sharp, pointed and curved.  This suggests that Velociraptor was a meat-eater (carnivore).  The teeth of Diplodocus are a very different shape when compared to the teeth of the fearsome Velociraptor.  Diplodocus only had teeth at the front of its mouth, these teeth were thin and looked like pegs.

Comparing the Teeth of a Meat-eater (Velociraptor) to the Teeth of a Plant-eater (Diplodocus)

Teeth comparison (Velociraptor and Diplodocus).

Comparing the teeth of the carnivore Velociraptor to the herbivore Diplodocus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur from original illustrations by Michael Skrepnick and Zhao Chuang

Diplodocus was a plant-eater (herbivore), this dinosaur probably spent most of his life eating plants.

How is Diplodocus Different from Brontosaurus?

Diplodocus and Brontosaurus were closely related.  Both were plant-eaters and they probably liked to eat the same types of plants.  These long-necked dinosaurs lived in the Late Jurassic and their fossils have been found in the same country (United States of America).  Diplodocus was different from Brontosaurus in a number of ways, Diplodocus had a much longer tail and its neck was longer and more slender than Brontosaurus.  Brontosaurus was probably much heavier than Diplodocus.

Similarities and Differences Between Brontosaurus and Diplodocus

Diplodocus compared to Brontosaurus.

Brontosaurus compared to Diplodocus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

How big is a Diplodocus?

We have provided some information about the size of Diplodocus in the picture above.  Can the children work out how much longer Diplodocus was compared to Brontosaurus?  Why have we put a picture of a person next to our two dinosaur drawings (above), can the children think like scientists and come up with the answer?

How Could We Trap a Diplodocus if it was Alive?

Trying to trap a Diplodocus might be quite dangerous, after all, this plant-eating dinosaur was much bigger than any land animals alive today.  The children have probably come up with some amazing ideas and suggestions.  You could dig a big pit and cover it with tree branches then chase the Diplodocus towards the hole, if the Diplodocus fell in, it would probably get stuck, so long as the hole was deep enough.  However, this might hurt the dinosaur, so perhaps instead of trying to force the dinosaur to try and do something, it might be better to persuade it to come to you.

Since Diplodocus needed to eat a lot of plants, class 1 could perhaps persuade it to come and visit them by putting out some of its favourite food.  If the children collected lots and lots of ferns (Diplodocus probably ate around 200 kilograms of plants every day), filling a shopping trolley with Diplodocus treats, might persuade the dinosaur to come and visit the children in the playground.

Attracting Diplodocus into the Playground by Providing Some of its Favourite Food

Attracting a Diplodocus into the playground.

No need to catch a Diplodocus, try attracting it into the playground by leaving out some of its favourite food.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

People attract dinosaurs into their gardens every day, even though they probably don’t realise they are doing this.  Birds are so closely related to dinosaurs, that we should not call birds “birds” at all.  They are “avian dinosaurs”.  If you have a bird table at your school or in your garden you can watch dinosaurs feeding.  Check out the feet on birds like the sparrow, thrush and blackbird, they have claws just like a dinosaur and they walk on three toes just like Tyrannosaurus rex!

How Long is the Neck of a Diplodocus?  How Long is the Tail of Diplodocus?

A complete fossilised neck of Diplodocus has never been discovered.  All the bones that make up a tail of a Diplodocus have never been found.  When you visit a museum and see a spectacular mounted skeleton like “Dippy” the Diplodocus which used to be on display at the Natural History Museum (London), the skeleton you see consists of the bones of several individuals put together to make a single exhibit.  Missing bones are made as models and added to the skeleton to make it look complete.  Most palaeontologists think that Diplodocus had around fourteen or fifteen neck bones and the neck measured about eight metres long.  A baby Diplodocus had a relatively short neck, when it hatched (as far as we know, all dinosaurs hatched from eggs, just like birds today), as the Diplodocus grew, its neck got longer and longer.  The whip-like tail of Diplodocus was longer than its neck.  Size estimates for the tail of a Diplodocus are difficult to make, but Everything Dinosaur’s fossil experts suggest that the tail of a fully-grown Diplodocus could have been around fourteen metres long, that’s longer than a Badminton court!

Comparing a Diplodocus to Large Land Animals Alive Today

How big was Diplodocus?

Diplodocus compared to animals alive today.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Our thanks to all the children in class 1 at Ysgol Bro Carmel Nursery and Primary School, we hope our answers to your questions help you with your term topic.

11 03, 2018

Google Doodle – Dinosaurs for Mother’s Day

By | March 11th, 2018|Dinosaur Fans, Educational Activities, Main Page|0 Comments

Mother’s Day Dinosaurs

The Google doodle for the UK and Ireland today is a pair of dinosaurs (we think).  The doodle has been put up in honour of Mother’s Day and the painting represents one child’s view of a mother dinosaur with its baby.  At least to us, who spend a lot of the time looking at dinosaurs, this is what the drawing resembles.

Google Doodle Dinosaurs

Google Doodle - dinosaurs.

Google Doodle March 11th 2018 for Mother’s Day.

Picture Credit: Google

Do Armoured Dinosaurs Make Good Parents?

Whether or not the non-avian dinosaurs made good parents is a topic often debated amongst palaeontologists.  Like their close relatives, the birds, non-avian dinosaurs probably adopted a range of strategies when it came to looking after their young.  Nesting sites discovered in the United States strongly suggest that Maiasaura, (M. peeblesorum), a Late Cretaceous Hadrosaur, fed their young and looked after them, whilst other types of dinosaur probably adopted different behaviours.

To read our post about “Good Mother Lizard”: Maiasaura and Marsh

An Illustration of a Maiasaura and Young

Maiasaura drawing.

The person in the picture provides a scale so the size of this dinosaur can be estimated.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Fossils of very young Maiasaura indicate that these dinosaurs were not capable of leaving their nest and that they were dependent on the adult animals to feed them.  At the other end of what is a spectrum, precocial animals are born ready to lead much more independent lives.  Precocial young are able to leave the nest shortly after birth/hatching and are capable of feeding themselves.  As for evidence of armoured dinosaurs and their behaviour with regards to bringing up baby, the evidence is less substantial.  However, a number of young individuals of armoured dinosaurs have been found in a single bone bed.  The fossils come from an armoured dinosaur known from northern China (Inner Mongolia), called Pinacosaurus (P. grangeri).  If these young Pinacosaurus died together, it does suggest that these animals lived in social groups.  This may have implications for parenting behaviour.

Late Cretaceous Northern China

China - Late Cretaceous

Late Cretaceous China.  Pinacosaurus can be seen in the foreground.

Picture Credit: Zhao Chuang

Team members at Everything Dinosaur also recall coming across a research paper that reported upon the discovery of an adult armoured dinosaur and a juvenile being found together.  Although, it is difficult to interpret the exact circumstances, the fossils could represent an adult and offspring having perished together.

An Armoured Dinosaur Themed Artwork on Display in School

Stegosaurus artwork in school.

How many hands?

Picture Credit: Bamford Academy Foundation Stage

On this Mothering Sunday, it is fitting to consider whether dinosaurs were altricial or precocial.  It is likely, that just like birds, the Dinosauria exhibited a number of behaviours.

A “Handy” Illustration of a Monster Created by School Children

Hands inspire artwork in school.

A “handy” way to create a prehistoric animal in the classroom.

Picture Credit: Feversham Primary

Happy Mother’s Day.

9 03, 2018

Working to Honour Mary Anning and Mary Leakey

By | March 9th, 2018|Dinosaur Fans, Educational Activities, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Famous Figures, Main Page, Press Releases, Teaching|0 Comments

Everything Dinosaur Helping to Honour Female Scientists

With International Women’s Day having been very much in the news this week, Everything Dinosaur is taking this opportunity to honour two female pioneers in the Earth sciences, both called Mary.  Today, March 9th, is the anniversary of the death of Mary Anning, the famous amateur fossil collector from Dorset who did much to bring the amazing geology of that part of the coast of southern England to the world’s attention.  It is only in the last few decades that her contribution to the nascent science of palaeontology has begun to be recognised.  As part of our continuing work in schools, we have developed a lesson plan based around researching the life of Mary Anning for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 pupils.

Everything Dinosaur’s Non-chronological Report Focused on Mary Anning

Mary Anning Non-chronological report.

A non-chronological report exercise based on the life and work of Mary Anning.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A Non-chronological Report Focused on Mary Anning

A non-chronological report is a non-fiction report that is not written in time order.  Usually written in the third person, these reports help children to practice structuring texts and working with a variety of writing styles.  They involve a planning phase in which the compiler has to research the subject area and to decide what to include or discard.   It helps children to evaluate sources of information, encourages cross-checking of references and provides the opportunity for the teacher to check learning.  Everything Dinosaur’s lesson plan includes a template for the creation of a non-chronological report focused on the life and work of Mary Anning.

Mary Anning Honoured in a Google Doodle

Google celebrates the life and work of Mary Anning.

Google pays tribute to Mary Anning (1799-1847).

Picture Credit: Google/Everything Dinosaur

Mary Douglas Leakey (1913-1996)

The British palaeoanthropologist Mary Leakey, who along with her husband Louis, did much to improve our understanding of the evolution of humankind has also been the subject of a Google doodle.  Everything Dinosaur is working towards honouring the work of this ground-breaking scientists by having a blue plaque erected at her childhood home in London.  We shall update blog readers with regards to our progress in the near future.

A Google Doodle Honouring the Work of Mary Leakey

Mary Leakey honoured by Google.

Celebrating the role of women in science.

Picture Credit: Google/Everything Dinosaur

To read more about the life and work of the remarkable Mary Leakey: Celebrating the Role of Women in Science – Mary Douglas Leakey

7 03, 2018

Dinosaurs A Year 1 Art Project

By | March 7th, 2018|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Educational Activities, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

Year 1 Art Project Dinosaurs

Whilst searching through our extensive archives, we came across a photograph taken during one of our many visits to schools to conduct dinosaur and fossil themed workshops.  The children in a Year 1 class at Wellgate Primary have used prehistoric animal drawings to help inspire them in their art classes.  Various dinosaur drawings were used to help the children gain an appreciation of perspective and to learn about the influence of shading on the appearance of a drawing.  How very creative!

Dinosaurs Inspire a Year 1 Art Class

Dinosaur drawings inspire Year 1.

Super dinosaur drawings by a Year 1 class.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur/Wellgate Primary

Black and White Illustrations

The teacher instructed the children to only use pencil to shade in their drawings and not to add anything else to their illustrations.  This display formed part of an extensive collage that highlighted various painting and drawing styles, all focused on the theme of fossils and prehistoric animals.  Our dinosaur and fossil expert who visited the school to conduct a workshop, took the picture to demonstrate the creative approach to the scheme of work adopted by the teaching team with its cross-curricular touch points clearly evident.

It looks like we have some budding future palaeoartists, all the various pieces of art made a fantastic display.

28 02, 2018

Year 4 Recreate the Age of Dinosaurs

By | February 28th, 2018|Educational Activities, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

Dinosaur Landscapes Created by Year 4 Children

The children in Year 4 at Langley Hall Primary Academy have begun their topic for the second half of the Spring Term.  The four classes are studying dinosaurs, fossils and life in the past.  The enthusiastic young scientists have been creating mini dinosaur worlds depicting prehistoric scenes and what a fantastic display of dinosaur dioramas they make!

Children in Year 4 at Langley Hall Primary Academy Have Made Mini Dinosaur Dioramas

Dinosaur landscapes on display.

A collection of dinosaur dioramas created by children in Year 4 at Langley Hall Primary Academy.

Picture Credit: Langley Hall Primary Academy/Everything Dinosaur

The four classes have been named after famous artists.  There is Matisse, Degas, Klee and O’Keeffe classes, clearly the children have been inspired by these artists as they made their very own prehistoric scenes.

A Range of Materials Have Been Used to Create the Prehistoric Landscapes

"Jurassic World" created by Year 4 children.

Dinosaur dioramas created by children in Year 4 at Langley Hall Primary Academy.

Picture Credit: Langley Hall Primary Academy/Everything Dinosaur

Using Different Materials to Create Prehistoric Scenes

Lots of different materials have been used to create prehistoric scenes.  For example, some of the children made plants out of pieces of coloured tissue paper, whilst one pupil collected moss to provide flora for their dinosaur diorama.  The prehistoric animal models have plenty of different textures to explore, some children used small pieces of gravel in their scenes, whilst one innovative young scientists used couscous to make a sand effect.  Can you spot the chicken egg in the photograph below?  During the workshops that Everything Dinosaur conducted with the children over the course of a day, the pupils discovered that chickens are dinosaurs (avian dinosaurs).

Can You Find the Dinosaur Egg?

Year 4 children create prehistoric scenes.

Dinosaur worlds created by children in Year 4 at Langley Hall Primary Academy.

Picture Credit: Langley Hall Primary Academy/Everything Dinosaur

Georgia O’Keeffe and the Ghost Ranch Location

One of the Year 4 classes is named after Georgia O’Keeffe.  Georgia O’Keeffe was an American painter, best-known for her modernist approach to her subject matter.  Many of her paintings feature the atmospheric landscapes of the Ghost Ranch region of New Mexico.  The sandstones, siltstones and mudstones of this region date from the Triassic geological period and Ghost Ranch is famous for its dinosaur fossils.  Fossils of freshwater Coelacanths are also associated with the region (Chinle Formation).  Our dinosaur expert challenged the children to research the story of the Coelacanth and its rediscovery as part of several extension activities that were suggested during the workshops.

Ancient Rocks Exposed at the Ghost Ranch Location

Ghost Ranch Formation

Famous Dinosaur Fossil Location

Picture Credit: S. Nesbitt

A Variety of Ecosystems and Habitats

Dinosaurs as a term topic permits lots of cross-curricular activities.  Everything Dinosaur provided some numeracy-based as well as literacy-based extension activities and the dioramas can be used to help explore and reinforce learning about food chains and different habitats.  For instance, in the prehistoric scene (below), the Year 4 pupil has used a range of materials to depict different environments.  They have even included some aquatic animals in their prehistoric scene.   Could add a drawing of a Coelacanth to their diorama?

A Prehistoric Scene Using Various Materials to Create Different Habitats

A dinosaur world in a shoe box.

Prehistoric landscapes created by children in Year 4 at Langley Hall Primary Academy.

Picture Credit: Picture Credit: Langley Hall Primary Academy/Everything Dinosaur

19 02, 2018

Dinosaur Poems

By | February 19th, 2018|Dinosaur Fans, Educational Activities, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

A Poem About Parasaurolophus

Whilst delivering a dinosaur and fossil workshop with a Year 1 class, we were asked to help inspire the children by providing some inspirational poems about prehistoric animals. The class had been looking at poetry and its rhythmic qualities, writing poems about animals that lived close to the Poles when they were studying “life in the freezer” during the first part of the Spring Term. The teacher wanted to reintroduce this exercise, but this time to tie it in with the topic for the remainder of the Spring Term – dinosaurs.

A Poem About Parasaurolophus

Parasaurolophus poem.

A poem about the Hadrosaur Parasaurolophus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Fortunately, the Everything Dinosaur fossil expert had spotted numerous dinosaur and fossil themed poems during his many school visits and he was able to share some of these resources with the teaching team. Our team member had even come across a short piece of prose dedicated to the Late Cretaceous duck-billed dinosaur Parasaurolophus, a plant-eater with a bizarre head crest.

The Duck-billed Dinosaur Parasaurolophus

Mojo Parasaurolophus dinosaurs.

The Mojo Parasaurolophus dinosaur models (biped and quadruped).  Note the bizarre head crest.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Poetic Parasaurolophus

The role the crest played is debated by palaeontologists. It may have had a flap of skin, attaching the crest to the back of the neck and this might have been brightly coloured, allowing the crest to be used as an effective device for visual communication. The crest itself, could have played a role in signalling, perhaps its size and length demonstrated maturity or fitness for breeding. The dinosaur’s nostrils were connected to the crest by a series of complicated hollow tubes. Some palaeontologists have speculated that the crest could have acted as an amplifier or resonating device giving these dinosaurs very distinctive calls.

Whatever the purpose of that head crest, it was good to find a poem about a “tooting” Parasaurolophus!

26 01, 2018

Dinosaur Workshops at Green End Primary

By | January 26th, 2018|Educational Activities, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

1B and 1EN Classes at Green End Primary Study Dinosaurs

It was an exciting end to the week for the children in Year 1 at Green End Primary (M19, Manchester), as the school was visited by a team member from Everything Dinosaur.  The children in 1B and 1EN have started to learn all about dinosaurs, fossils and life in the past and Everything Dinosaur was invited in to help launch this challenging term topic.  Two workshops were conducted with the enthusiastic, young dinosaur fans over the course of a morning, one for each of the classes.  During a short briefing with the teachers, our proposed lesson plan was reviewed and steps were taken to ensure that our dinosaur expert covered key points that the teaching team wanted to emphasise.  As well as acting as a provocation for the topic, the teachers were keen to reinforce learning about food chains and as Mary Anning was going to be studied in class, our dinosaur expert was able to adjust his lesson plan to accommodate this learning need.

A Beautiful Dinosaur Display in One of the Year 1 Classrooms

Year 1 dinosaur display.

Year 1 children at Green End Primary have created a wonderful dinosaur display.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur/Green End Primary

Making Salt Dough Fossils

As part of a wide range of challenging activities, the children had been making their own salt dough fossils.  These fossils were on display in the sand tray and our dinosaur expert was invited to examine the children’s work.

Children in Year 1 Make Salt Dough Fossils

Key Stage 1 children make salt dough fossils.

Salt dough fossils created by Year 1 children (class 1EN and 1B).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur/Green End Primary


During the workshop, the Year 1 children were given the chance to handle some real fossils and to learn how fossils form.  The ammonite fossils proved to be very popular, especially the very large ones.  These fossils are typical of the “sea shells on the sea shore”, that Mary Anning collected.  We included a tongue twister all about Mary Anning with the additional teaching resources that our dinosaur expert provided.

As part of our work in schools, we encourage the teaching team to take lots of photographs of the children during the workshops.  These photographs are very helpful when it comes to recall and recounting activities after the workshop has been concluded.  Can the children, simply by looking at a photograph, recall key points from that part of the lesson?  We recommend the children are asked without prompting initially, teachers are often surprised by the amount of information that the children have retained.

A Dinosaur Themed Display in One of the Year 1 Classrooms

A Year 1 dinosaur display.

A horned dinosaur is at the centre of this Year 1 dinosaur display.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur/Green End Primary

One of the teachers promised to send in a picture of some of the children’s work, we look forward to seeing the results of the research conducted by the Year 1 classes.

22 01, 2018

Reception at Egerton Primary Discover Dinosaurs

By | January 22nd, 2018|Educational Activities, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

Dinosaurs and Fossils at Egerton Primary School

The children in the Reception class at Egerton Primary School, (Knutsford, Cheshire) were visited by Everything Dinosaur, with “Dinosaur Mike” delivering a dinosaur and fossil workshop to help enthuse the Foundation Stage 2 children as they learn about fossils and life in the past.  The spacious and well-appointed school hall reverberated with the sound of stomping armoured dinosaurs and ammonites catching fish.  During the workshop, our dinosaur expert set the children a special challenge, could they design their very own dinosaur and label parts of the body?

The Reception Class at Egerton Primary School Sent Dinosaur Letters and Drawings

'Reception class letters and dinosaur drawings.

Dinosaur letters and drawings from the Reception class at Egerton Primary School.

Picture Credit: Egerton Primary School/Everything Dinosaur

Taking Up a Dinosaur Drawing Challenge

With the help and support of the enthusiastic teaching team, the children were keen to take up Everything Dinosaur’s challenge and sure enough, we received at our offices, a set of super prehistoric animal drawings and dinosaur themed letters from the children.

Long-necked Dinosaur Drawings from Foundation Stage 2

Long-necked dinosaur drawings from a Reception class.

Super Sauropod drawings from Egerton Primary School (Reception class).

Picture Credit: Egerton Primary School/Everything Dinosaur

As part of our proposed extension activity, we challenged the Reception class to think up suitable names for their very own dinosaur designs.  During the morning visit, our dinosaur expert met a budding, young scientist called Maya and he explained to her and her classmates that there already was a dinosaur called Maiasaura (May-ah-sore-ah).  Maya had a name very similar to a Cretaceous, plant-eating dinosaur.  When back in the office, “Dinosaur Mike” emailed over a Maiasaura fact sheet and scale drawing of Maiasaura to help inspire the children with their own dinosaur designs.

We received some beautiful drawings and some lovely labelled dinosaurs.  Several children wrote a short thank you note to our dinosaur expert.  Wonderful evidence of gaining confidence with writing along with finger spacing of words being demonstrated and some basic grammar shown too!

A Dinosaur Themed Letter Writing Exercise (Egerton Primary School – Reception Class)

Dinosaur themed letter (FS2).

A letter to “Dinosaur Mike” from Reception class children at Egerton Primary School.

Picture Credit: Egerton Primary School/Everything Dinosaur

Letter Writing Exercise

A simple letter writing exercise such as the dinosaur thank you notes, can help children gain confidence and assists in the development of hand-eye co-ordination and fine motor skills.  Our thanks to all the children and the teachers in the Reception class at Egerton Primary, we have posted some of the children’s letters and drawings onto our warehouse wall.

20 01, 2018

School Prepares for Dinosaur Workshops

By | January 20th, 2018|Educational Activities, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

Hanging Heaton Primary Prepares for Dinosaur Term Topic

Pupils and staff at Hanging Heaton CE (VC) Junior and Infant School (near Dewsbury, West Yorkshire), have been busy preparing their classrooms for the start of the special Spring Term topic – dinosaurs.  Children in class 1 and class 2, comprising the Reception and Key Stage 1 cohorts at the school, will be learning all about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals for the rest of this term.  To help kick-start the topic, Everything Dinosaur was invited into the school to provide a provocation in the form of a dinosaur workshop to help enthuse the children.

Class 1 (Reception and Year 1) Have Prepared a Palaeontology Lab Display

The FS2/Year 1 class have a palaeontology lab.

The FS2/Year 1 class have a palaeontology laboratory.

Picture Credit: Hanging Heaton CE (VC) Junior and Infant School/Everything Dinosaur

Tidy and Spacious Classrooms

Our dinosaur expert had the opportunity to see the classrooms prior to starting the morning of dinosaur and fossil themed workshops.  The classrooms were tidy and spacious and the dedicated teachers, with the support of the learning support assistants had prepared a number of display boards to showcase the children’s work as they study dinosaurs.  The children in the mixed class of Reception and Year 1 are going to have a palaeontology laboratory in the corner of their classroom.  Perhaps, some of the extension activities we proposed, such as creating a prehistoric animal might end up being put up on the display board.

Class 2 (A Mixed Year 1 and Year 2 Class) Ready for the Dinosaurs Term Topic

A Key Stage 1 term topic display board - Dinosaurs!

Year 1/2 classroom ready for the dinosaurs term topic.

Picture Credit: Hanging Heaton CE (VC) Junior and Infant School/Everything Dinosaur

For further information about Everything Dinosaur’s work in schools and to request a quotation: Contact Everything Dinosaur, Request a Quotation

Questions about Dinosaurs

The children demonstrated some amazing pre-knowledge, confidently talking about the largest dinosaurs and explaining the differences between meat-eaters and plant-eaters.  They also asked lots of questions about different types of prehistoric animals.  One little boy (George), wanted to know what sort of dinosaurs hunted Styracosaurus.  Our dinosaur expert was able to explain that when Styracosaurus (a horned dinosaur), roamed North America in the Late Cretaceous, there were several types of Tyrannosaur and other predators that might have considered this very spiky reptile as dinner.

A Drawing of the Horned Dinosaur Styracosaurus (S.albertensis)

Styracosaurus illustrated.

A drawing of the horned dinosaur Styracosaurus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Additional Resources and Activities

Prior to the two workshops, our dinosaur expert had a short meeting with the teaching lead for the term topic to ensure that learning objectives would be incorporated into the sessions.  In addition, the Everything Dinosaur team member was able to provide a number of additional teaching resources to support the school’s scheme of work, including a dinosaur footprint measuring exercise, a motor skills test linked to writing for the Reception children and a dinosaur themed geography exercise to help the Key Stage 1 children learn about the continents.

We look forward to seeing pictures of the classroom display boards filled up with examples of the children’s dinosaur and fossil themed learning.

10 01, 2018

Fossils of Folkestone, Kent by Philip Hadland

By | January 10th, 2018|Book Reviews, Dinosaur Fans, Educational Activities, Geology, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils, Press Releases|0 Comments

A Review of the Fossils of Folkestone, Kent

Fossil collecting is a popular hobby and there are a number of excellent general guide books available.  However, the newly published “Fossils of Folkestone, Kent” by geologist and museum curator Philip Hadland, takes a slightly different perspective.  Instead of focusing on lots of fossil collecting locations, Philip provides a comprehensive overview of just one area of the Kent coast, the beaches and cliffs surrounding the port of Folkestone.  Here is a book that delivers what its title implies, if you want to explore the Gault Clay, Lower Greensand and Chalks around Folkestone then this is the book for you.

The Fossils of Folkestone, Kent by Philip Hadland – A Comprehensive Guide

Fossil collecting guide to the Folkestone area.

Fossils of Folkestone, Kent by Philip Hadland and published by Siri Scientific Press and priced at £12.99 plus postage.

Picture Credit: Siri Scientific Press

A Comprehensive Overview of the Geology and the Palaeoenvironment of the Folkestone Area

The author clearly has a tremendous affection for this part of the Kent coast.  His enthusiasm is infectious and the reader is soon dipping into the various chapters, dedicated to the rock formations exposed along the cliffs and the fossil delights to be found within them.  Folkestone is probably most famous for its beautiful Gault Clay ammonites, the clay being deposited around 100 million years ago and a wide variety of these cephalopods can be found preserved in the rocks.  The book contains more than 100 full colour plates, so even the beginner fossil hunter can have a go at identifying their fossil discoveries.

Clear Colour Photographs Help with Fossil Identification

Ammonite fossils from Folkestone (Anahoplites praecox).

Anahoplites praecox fossil from Folkestone.

Picture Credit: Siri Scientific Press

Surprises on the Shoreline

The book begins by explaining some of the pleasures of fossil hunting, before briefly outlining a history of fossil collecting in the Folkestone area and introducing some of the colourful characters who were prominent fossil collectors in their day.  The geology of the area is explored using terminology that the general reader can understand and follow, but academics too, will no doubt gain a lot from this publication.  Intriguingly, the Cretaceous-aged sediments were thought to have been deposited in a marine environment, however, the Lower Greensand beds have produced evidence of dinosaur footprints.  The palaeoenvironment seems to have been somewhat more complex than previously thought, the Lower Greensand preserving evidence of inter-tidal mudflats, that were once crossed by dinosaurs.  Isolated dinosaur bones have also been found in the area and the book contains some fantastic photographs of these exceptionally rare fossil discoveries.

Helping to Identify Fossil Finds

Folkestone fossils - ammonites.

Folkestone fossils – ammonites.

Picture Credit: Siri Scientific Press

Prehistoric Mammals

To help with identification, the colour plates and accompanying text are organised by main animal groups.  There are detailed sections on bivalves, brachiopods, corals, crustaceans, gastropods, belemnites and ammonites.  There are plenty of photographs of vertebrate fossils too and not just fish and reptiles associated with the Mesozoic.  Pleistocene-aged deposits are found in this area and these preserve the remains of numerous exotic prehistoric animals that once called this part of Kent home.

Fossil Teeth from a Hippopotamus Which Lived in the Folkestone Area During a Warmer Inter-glacial Period

Folkestone fossils - Teeth from a Hippopotamus.

Pleistocene mammal fossils from Folkestone (Hippopotamus upper canine and molar).

Picture Credit: Siri Scientific Press

The author comments that the presence of hippos, along with other large mammals such as elephants as proved by fossil finds, demonstrates how very different Folkestone was just 120,000 years ago.  It is likely that humans were present in the area, evidence of hominins have been found elsewhere in England and in nearby France, but as yet, no indications of human activity or a human presence in this area have been found.  Perhaps, an enthusiastic fossil hunter armed with this guide, will one day discover the fossils or archaeology that demonstrates that people were living in the area and exploiting the abundant food resources that existed.

A Partial Femur from a Large Hippopotamus Provides Testament to the Exotic Pleistocene Fauna

Folkestone fossils - partial femur from a Hippopotamus.

A partial femur (thigh bone) from a Hippopotamus.

Picture Credit: Siri Scientific Press

With a foreword by renowned palaeontologist Dean Lomax, “Fossils of Folkestone, Kent” is an essential read for anyone with aspirations regarding collecting fossils on this part of the English coast.  The book, with its weather-proof cover, fits snugly into a backpack and the excellent photographs and text make fossil identification in the field really easy.

If your New Year’s resolution is to get out more to enjoy the wonders of the British countryside, to start fossil hunting, or to visit more fossil collecting locations, then the “Fossils of Folkestone, Kent” by Philip Hadland would be a worthy addition to your book collection.

For further information on this book and to order a copy: Siri Scientific Press On-line

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