Lessons from the dinosaur graveyard
Science is one of my favourite subjects and the Jurassic period was quite interesting when I was younger. I thought, I knew almost everything there was to know about dinosaurs at my age.
In March, my homeschool teacher taught a lesson from the Science Explorer Earth's Changing Surface series.
The book highlighted an archaeology dig conducted by Paleontologist Kelli Trujillo. Kelli's dig was in Como Bluff, Wyoming, one of the most famous dinosaur graveyards in the United States.
I was fascinated by her stories and findings. After class I looked up the words geology and palaeontology to get a better understanding of the words, meaning and what is required to become one. I asked my teacher if we could recreate a miniature archaeology dig to see if it would be boring or fun. We searched for weeks to find the right artefacts and fabricated the rest from our studies. It was a bright and sunny Friday morning, we gathered our digging tools, brushes, shovels, hats, sunscreen, note books, pencils and water bottles. I was very excited and nervous at the same time.
Our fossil findings are listed below:
• Brachiosaurus egg (accidentally destroyed because I rushed)
• Pachycephalosaurus — meaning “thick-headed lizard” (full skeletons)
• Triceratops — means “three-horned face” (full skeleton)
• Hadrosaurs — means “duck-billed dinosaurs”
• Torosaurus — means “perforated lizard”
• Deinonychus — means “terrible genitive claw”
• Allosaurus — means “different lizard”
• Baryonyx — means “heavy claw”
• Maiasaura — means “good mother reptile” (feminine)
• Corythosaurus — means “helmet lizard”
• Pinacosaurus — means “plank lizard”
• Oviraptor — means “egg taker”
• Nigersaurus — means “Niger reptile”
• Tooth of a Tyranosaurus
• Footprint fossils of a Cheirotherium, also known as “hand-beast”
• Ammonite — means “horns of Ammon”
• Chesappecten Jeffersonius (scallop shell)
• Various shells and coins.
My teacher surprised me with the amount of details that went into the dig. The sun was beaming hot, flies were a nuisance, my baby brother kept throwing sand at me and cataloguing and researching the findings could be a bit tedious. However, it was the most fun I have had in a while, especially doing school work! This experience has taught me that you can learn something new about the Jurassic period. It took two words, geology and palaeontology to pique my interest and my homeschool teacher (my mother) to fulfil my dream to be a paleontologist for a day. Homeschooling is the best.