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This interactive site demonstrates how fossil evidence and the principle of superposition are used to determine the age of rock layers and fossils. It contains several examples of index fossils and how they are used to date events. Geologic changes including continental drift are also related to fossil evidence. Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Tutorial
Subject: Geologic time, Geology, Paleontology
 
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Containing a highly interactive computer activity for students, this module examines evidence from the fossil record, behavior, biomechanics and cladistic analysis to interpret the sequence of events that led to flight in the dinosaur lineage. The module concentrates on the process of science - how we know what we know. It also contains background information, lesson plans, handouts, and assessments. ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12)
Resource type: Guide for instructor, Tutorial
Subject: Paleontology
 
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This site is a general introduction to pterosaurs. Ranging from the size of a sparrow to the size of an airplane, the pterosaurs (Greek for "wing lizards") ruled the skies in the Jurassic and Cretaceous, and included the largest vertebrate ever known to fly: the late Cretaceous Quetzalcoatlus. The site has photographs, illustrations, and numerous active links that lead to detailed information on the ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12), College (13-14), College (15-16)
Resource type: Ref. material
Subject: Paleontology
 
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National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
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This site introduces the Palaeognathae, birds grouped together on the basis of their jaw structure. The site explains the basis for the classification and gives examples of birds that fit into this classification. Most birds in this group, which includes the ostrich, are flightless. However this site also gives examples of flightless birds that are not in this group. Active links lead to detailed ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12), College (13-14), College (15-16)
Resource type: Ref. material
Subject: Biology, Paleontology
 
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Archaeopteryx is considered by many to be the first bird, being about 150 million years of age. It is actually intermediate between the birds that we see flying around in our backyards and the predatory dinosaurs like Deinonychus. This site decribes the discovery of the fossil remains and what we have learned from it. The site also contains links for further research. Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12), College (13-14), College (15-16)
Resource type: Ref. material
Subject: Biology, Paleontology
 
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This University of California Museum of Paleontology site introduces users to its section on birds. After a brief introduction to the Aves group, one has an opportunity to explore further via active links. These include Fossil Record, Life History and Ecology, Systematics, (classification system), and More on Morphology, along with a special link to a large section on vertebrate flight. Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12), College (13-14), College (15-16)
Resource type: Ref. material
Subject: Biology, Paleontology
 
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This site describes a group of huge carnivores that must have tyrannically ruled the land during the Cretaceous period. They are known as Tyrannosauridae. Members of this group are listed, including the well-known Tyrannosaurus rex. Their classification is described and links are provided for further study. In addition, information is provided on their movement and eating habits. Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12), College (13-14), College (15-16)
Resource type: Ref. material
Subject: Biology, Paleontology
 
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This site describes the Ornithomimids, a distinctive group of theropod dinosaurs who show a good example of convergent evolution with the ratite birds, such as ostriches. They were not as closely related to birds as the Dromaeosauridae were, but were still members of the well supported group Coelurosauria, which includes birds. The site describes their classification, morphology, locomotion, and eating ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12), College (13-14), College (15-16)
Resource type: Ref. material
Subject: Biology, Paleontology
 
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Data from new studies presented at this site confirm that therizinosaurs are maniraptorans. These "transitional" therizinosauroid fossils include Alxasaurus and the recently named Beipiaosaurus inexpectus, which has "protofeather"- like filaments on its arms. The site furthur describes the morphology of this group and provides links for more study. Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12), College (13-14), College (15-16)
Resource type: Ref. material
Subject: Biology, Paleontology
 
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This site describes the Troodontidae, a small group (maybe five different species) of very rare and hence poorly known maniraptorans. They are only known from a few incomplete specimens from the Cretaceous period of North America and Mongolia, so their exact affinities to other maniraptorans are uncertain. Their morphology is described in terms of locomotion and other activities and the size of their ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12), College (13-14), College (15-16)
Resource type: Ref. material
Subject: Biology, Paleontology
 
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Educational standards associated with this resource:
National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
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