All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
14 01, 2020

Ysgol Maes Owen – Deinosoriaid

By | January 14th, 2020|General Teaching, Key Stage 1/2|Comments Off on Ysgol Maes Owen – Deinosoriaid

Ysgol Maes Owen – Deinosoriaid

The children in Year 3 and Year 4 at Ysgol Maes Owen in North Wales have been studying dinosaurs and fossils this spring term.  The eager young palaeontologists constructed a “dinosaur island” and are researching prehistoric animals so that they can populate their own “Jurassic World”.  As part of  the term topic, the enthusiastic teaching team have challenged the children to learn lots of dinosaur facts and to build a set of dinosaur “Top Trumps”.  We hope our advice about which was the cleverest dinosaur helped.

With four workshops to squeeze into the day, a classroom had to be allocated for the visitor from Everything Dinosaur.  Not to worry, there was plenty of space in the classroom to put all the resources our dinosaur expert had brought and there was still room to have a go at creeping through a forest like a giant, armoured dinosaur.

During wet play (thanks to storm Brendan), Lilly demonstrated her appreciation of dinosaurs (deinosoriaid), she certainly enjoys learning all about dinosaurs as her note (below) shows.

Lilly Shows Her Appreciation for Dinosaurs

Lilly showing her appreciation of dinosaurs.

Lilly loves dinosaurs.

Picture Credit: Ysgol Maes Owen/Everything Dinosaur

We are sure the footprint measuring resources along with the dinosaur timeline lesson plan we provided will help the teaching team with this exciting topic.

14 01, 2020

The First Stegosaur Dacentrurus armatus

By | January 14th, 2020|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|1 Comment

The First Stegosaur Dacentrurus armatus

Situated amongst specimens of marine reptiles in the Mary Anning gallery at the London Natural History Museum is a remarkable fossil specimen.  Behind its glass case the viewer can make out a block of bones containing various vertebrae, a massive right femur (thigh bone), ribs and a near complete pelvis.  At approximately two metres across this is an impressive fossil specimen.  It is the holotype material for Dacentrurus armatus (NHMUK OR46013), the first large collection of dinosaur bones associated with a member of the Stegosauridae to be scientifically described and studied.

The Main Bone Block (D. armatus) at the Natural History Museum (London)

Dacentrurus armatus specimen on display at the Natural History Museum (London).

The Dacentrurus armatus specimen on display at the Natural History Museum (London).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The fossils come from a clay quarry close to the town of Swindon in the county of Wiltshire.  Richard Owen (later Sir Richard Owen), who was to play a pivotal role in the foundation of the institute that we now know as the London Natural History Museum, studied the fossils and erected the name Omosaurus armatus in 1875.  The genus name, Omosaurus had already been used to describe a North American phytosaur (O. perplexus) in 1856.  Therefore, the original genus name for this armoured dinosaur was invalidated.  In 1902 the eminent American zoologist, Frederick Augustus Lucas erected Dacentrurus.

With the recently published paper describing a new specimen of Miragaia longicollum, a “Rosetta Stone” moment in vertebrate palaeontology permitting scientists to better understand the Dacentrurinae subfamily of the Stegosauridae, it is fitting that whilst in London an Everything Dinosaur team member took the opportunity to take a photograph of the main Dacentrurus block.  The beautiful fossils are notoriously difficult to photograph, but still, they continue to play a role in helping to decipher Late Jurassic stegosaurs.

One mystery still remains, why is this important dinosaur fossil on display in the marine reptiles gallery?  Perhaps, one day, these hugely significant fossils we will placed in the dinosaur gallery, where visitors could be given the opportunity to learn more about the world’s first extensively studied armoured dinosaur specimen.

To read our recent article on the M. longicollum paper: Turning a Stegosaur Fossil into the Rosetta Stone.

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