1. Name three examples of animals that you thought were "dinosaurs" before reading the definition given at the beginning of the chapter. How did application of this definition help you to change your mind?
2. Think of what animals today are bipedal and have an erect posture. What might be an advantage or disadvantage of bipedalism and erect posture, as a direct response to some change in the animals' environments?
3. Think of what large animals today live most of their lives on land but are also capable of swimming. What evidence would you need to show that some large dinosaurs sometimes swam? Current archaeological evidence indicates that the oldest Egyptian pyramid was built about 2800 bce. Calculate the percentage its age comprises out of 65 million years, which is about when the last dinosaur died.
Is a fossil egg a body fossil or a trace fossil? Explain why. Which of the sciences outlined in the chapter would you use to answer these questions about dinosaurs and why? (You may choose more than one.)
a. How high could they have jumped? How did they mate?
Did dinosaur bones get buried quickly or did they lie out in the open for a long time?
Does a deep track left by a dinosaur mean that it weighed a lot? How long was a particular dinosaur if you only find its leg bones? What food did dinosaurs eat and how did they digest it? Did dinosaurs make sounds and, if so, what did they sound like? What did dinosaurs smell like? i. Where did dinosaurs live?
Give an example of what you think is an ecosystem and outline some of its physical characteristics, such as vegetation, rainfall, and temperature. How might dinosaurs have interacted with or been affected by some of these environmental factors?
8. Think of two examples of how you learned about some concept of dinosaur behavior through reading a book, seeing a TV show, or watching a movie. Did you assume that these portrayed behaviors were based on actual research? If so, what aspects of the portrayal convinced you of that?
Flip through this entire book and pick out your top five favorite illustrations (either photographs or drawings). Why did you make this choice?
Estimate the weights of the following dinosaurs using the described models.
a. Camarasaurus: 172 cm3, 2.5% scale, density of 0.9 g/cm3
b. Allosaurus: 220 cm3, 3.3% scale, density of 0.8 g/cm3
c. Pachycephalosaurus: 215 cm3, 5.0% scale, density of 0.95 g/cm3
d. Brachiosaurus: 546 cm3, 2.5% scale, density of 1.05 g/cm3
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