All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
12 08, 2007

Amazing Dinosaur Maize Maze

By | August 12th, 2007|Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page|0 Comments

Cheshire’s Dinosaur Maize Maze

Another Sunday and some of the team are at work.  With the school summer holidays in full swing and the UK weather slowly but surely improving a couple of the team members had volunteered to help out at a local Dinosaur maize maze run by Reaseheath college.

Reaseheath college has had a maize maze for several years, this years theme is dinosaurs (an ever popular choice with children), and the college staff have set up two mazes cutting the passageways and alleys in a field of maize plants.  The maize has now grown to over 8 feet high in places so this crop makes an ideal crop to put a dinosaur shaped maze in.

The first maze takes about 1 hour to complete and has been designed with young children in mind – the children go off on a dinosaur egg hunt.  The second, much larger maze takes children on a prehistoric animal quiz trail.  This one takes about 2 hours to complete and it is very easy to become confused and lost once you are in the labyrinth.

One of our team members took some real dinosaur bones as well as cast T. rex teeth and such like and showed visitors the fossils and fielded many questions from the young dinosaur enthusiasts.  This proved very popular and certainly provided the youngsters with an insight into what it is like to dig up dinosaurs.  They got many squeals of delight when they let the children run their fingers down the serrated edge of a Tyrannosaur tooth or to hold in their hands a bone from an Iguanodon.

All in all it added something extra to the Dinosaur Maize Maze and it helped provide more of an educational experience.   The maize maze is open until September 3rd from 11am until 6pm each day.  Last entry is 4.30pm.  Entry for adults is £3.50, children £3 and family tickets just £12.  Children under 3 go free.  It is good fun and an exciting way to spend an afternoon.

A couple of tips from us:

1).  Do take a drink into the maze as it can be very hot once you are amongst the tall and densely packed maize plants.

2).  Sensible shoes required, the ground is not too muddy but there are one or two little puddles in the trackways as the soil has become poached from all the traffic.  Trainers are fine, but if it rained heavily; wellies may be better.

The maize maze is run by the students and they are very friendly and helpful, look out for further updates on the Everything Dinosaur blog.

For more information telephone 07943 252141 or visit the college’s “What’s on” page on the Reaseheath website.

12 08, 2007

Europe’s Largest Mass Dinosaur Grave to Date Discovered

By | August 12th, 2007|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Main Page|0 Comments

Mass Dinosaur Grave Discovered in Switzerland

Palaeontologists from the University of Bonn have been busy making preliminary surveys of what may turn out to be Europe’s biggest mass deposit of dinosaur bones.  About 300 dinosaur bones have been recovered so far but there may be thousands more buried under the Swiss village of Frick in the canton of Aargau.

An amateur palaeontologist exploring a small building site found the remains of a Plateosaurus and then shortly afterwards discovered a second one just a few metres away.  Early indications are that this could be a mass grave of many hundreds of these large herbivores, with the bone bearing deposit stretching for at least 1.5 kilometres.

Plateosaurus was a large herbivorous dinosaur from the Late Triassic (222 million years ago to 210 million years ago).  Adults could grow to over 8 metres long and weigh up to 4 Tonnes.  Other mass graves of plateosaurs have already been discovered most notably at Trossingen in southern Germany.  Plateosaurus means “flat lizard”, it is the best known of the prosauropod group of dinosaurs with fossils having been found in over 50 separate European locations.

Dinosaur fossils are relatively plentiful in this part of the Swiss/German border, although the picturesque village of Frick has a population of less than 5,000 it has its own village dinosaur museum.  It looks like they are going to have to extend it somewhat if they want to display all the fossils from the Plateosaurus bone bed, as scientists have speculated that they could be as much as one compete skeleton every 100 square metres.

As yet scientists say it is to early to state how all the fossils ended up together, they are remarkably well preserved and are likely to yield more information.  The jumble of disarticulated and disassociated bones could represent members of a large herd of plateosaurs that got stuck in marshland in a river delta and drowned in a sudden catastrophe.  Perhaps this mass grave could have accumulated over many hundreds of years with seasonal floods in the river delta washing animal carcasses into an area where they accumulated, settled and were buried.

Plateosaurus is a very important dinosaur, it was named and described 170 years ago and the vast number of fossils of this animal has given scientists a tremendous insight into the anatomy and physiology of this large herbivore.  Plateosaurs were extremely successful and a number of species have been identified, the large number of fossils from adults, sub-adults and juveniles has helped provide more information on the growth habits of dinosaurs.

To view a range of European manufactured prehistoric animal models: Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models.

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