You think you know a lot about Dinosaurs? You certainly will after reading this information. Paleontologists are learning new things about dinosaurs all the time, and we poor over the latest discoveries published in science journals to bring you some of the more fun and interesting nuggets of information that kids are sure to enjoy. Be sure to impart this knowledge upon all the little dinosaur enthusiasts near you!
The dinosaur that ate T-Rex for dinner
Eighty-million years ago, during the cretaceous period, there was a dinosaur named Deinosuchus. Basically a giant crocodile, this meat-eater would have hunted other dinosaurs from the riverbank. Even large predators such as T-Rex or Albertosaurus could have been dragged to their deaths by this beast. Now that’s one fierce dinosaur!
What’s more frightening than a big scary dinosaur? How about a gang of big scary dinosaurs! Scientists now say that some young dinosaurs joined gangs. They discovered fossils of 20 young dinosaurs who died together 92 million years ago, after being trapped in mud in what is now Mongolia.
No parents were found anywhere at the site, which suggests that these young plant-eaters were wandering alone as part of a gang of juvenile dinosaurs. Imagine that!
Related dinosaur activity: If you encountered a dinosaur gang, what would you do? If you could join a dinosaur gang, which type of dino gang would you join? Where do you think their parents were, and what do you suppose a dinosaur gang would do when out and about?
New dinosaur discoveries leave plenty of room for young explorers!
You might think that with dinosaurs being extinct for so long, by now there would be nothing new to discover. But thankfully that’s not at all the case, for all those little dinosaur buffs out there. Dozens of new dinosaur species are uncovered each year, with China and Argentina being hot spots where many new finds are turning up. Before the 1970’s, scientists discovered an average of 12 new dinosaur genera per decade. But since 1990, the rate of discovery has been 10 times higher!
People once thought dinosaurs were cold-blooded, but recent research shows they were actually warm-blooded, and maintained about the same body temperature as modern day mammals.
Drinking dinosaur pee group time demonstration
You may not realize it, but when you drink a glass of water, you’re drinking liquid that at one point or another carne out of a dinosaur. This is because the H2O on this planet is constantly being recycled, and over eons and eons, the molecules in that water you’re drinking were probably in and out of numerous dinosaurs.
Turn this fact into a fun group-time demonstration. Gather the kids in group, and once they are settled, pullout a clear glass and a bottle of water. Without telling them what you’re doing (it’s the suspense that makes this memorable), pour some of the water into the glass in a fanciful, exaggerated fashion. Then take a big, animated drink, topping it off with an “Ahhhh . . . how refreshing” afterwards.
Now that you’ve peaked their interest, explain that you just took a big drink of dinosaur pee. Ask if they’d like some too. Then explain the science behind that claim. It’s a demonstration they’re sure to remember, and later on, you can serve them “dinosaur pee” for lunch and speculate on which types of dinosaurs contributed to your beverage. Just be sure to emphasize that water is naturally cleaned when its recycled; you don’t want to give them a phobia about water.
Group time discussion: Dinosaur cave paintings
Here’s an interesting tidbit to ponder: Some African tribes have drawn calligraphy pictures on the walls of caves that depict a small-headed creature with a long neck, plates on its back and a tail with spikes-a creature that looks eerily similar to a stegosaurus. There’s just one problem: the drawings aren’t even a thousand years old, and stegosaurus is said to have gone extinct with the dinosaurs more than 65 million years ago, long before humans were ever around. Share this conundrum with your kids, and invite their opinions about all the possible explanations for this they can think of.
On a related note, what about the Loch Ness Monster? Some people claim they’ve seen a giant creature with a super-long neck living in a deep lake in Europe. Could it have been a dinosaur that somehow survived? Are they seeing things? Are they confusing a normal item for something else? What do you think? Print some pictures of the Loch Ness Monster from the Internet to serve as a prop for this discussion, and ask them if it resembles any dinosaurs they know of.