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This lesson is the second in a two-part series on fossils. It explores the information that can be discerned by comparing fossils to living organisms. Students explore fossils and are responsible for using what they have learned to do their own extrapolating. Students conduct an interview with the remains of a Protoceratops. In preparation for the interview, they brainstorm the questions for which ... Full description.
Grade level: Intermediate (3-5)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: Paleontology
 
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This activity is structured to allow students to experience one of the largest puzzles in science, the fossil record. Students will be encouraged to ask questions about the nature of science as they experience a simulated fossil hunt. They will be asked to reconstruct a book that has been literally destroyed, just as the fossil record has been changed by billions of years of geological processes. ... Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Classroom activity
Subject: Paleontology
 
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This lesson explores various hypotheses concerning the extinction of the woolly mammoth. Students will explore a Web resource that presents various hypotheses about why the woolly mammoth became extinct, with a special focus on an infectious disease as the cause. As part of the lesson, students will read an online article about the extinction of the mammoths, which poses questions and possible answers ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: Paleontology
 
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This site offers learners an opportunity to piece together clues to how one of our early ancestors looked as they examine images from four significant fossil finds of Australopithecas afarensis. These fossils include footprints from Laetoli, Tanzania and the Hadar skull, first family, and Lucy from Hadar, Ethiopia. This interactive display offers information on the following topics: How did they move?, ... Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Computer activity
Subject: Paleontology
 
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This site displays a menagerie of insects, feathers, flowers, a gecko lizard, a scorpion, and a frog, all preserved for millions of years in amber. It allows students to explore the clues left behind by ancient ecosystems and introduces them to amber and the ancient ecosystems this organic substance has preserved. It includes three sections. Amber in Nature tells how this protective tree resin has ... Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Ref. material
Subject: Paleontology
 
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Information at this site will help teachers to avoid potential pitfalls when teaching evolution. It will help teachers to understand why they should use function not purpose, evidence not proof, and why they should refer to accepting what the evidence shows rather than believing in evolution. There are also cautions about when to use the terms 'primitive/advanced' and 'theory/hypothesis'. Other potentially ... Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Ref. material
Subject: Paleontology
 
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In this lecture, an anthropologist reveals how a seven-million-year-old skull found in Chad, Africa in the summer of 2002, caused many long-held scientific beliefs to be called into question. Fossils are the keys scientists use to unlock the mysteries of human origins. Skull fossils in particular hold a wealth of information. By examining facial features and skull traits of a creature, researchers ... Full description.
Grade level: General public
Resource type: Lecture
Subject: Paleontology
 
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This is the home page of Project Exploration, a living classroom that involves the public and students, especially city kids and girls, in scientific discoveries involving paleontology. Project Exploration was founded in 1999 to make science accessible to the public, with a special focus on city kids and girls. Interactive exhibits, labs, online journals, unique science programs and interactions with ... Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Non-profit portal
Subject: Paleontology
 
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This report describes how paleontologists infer what dinosaurs looked like and how they behaved using evidence from fossil bones and, sometimes, comparisons with modern animals like the elephant. By comparing the size of the front and rear leg bones and the feet of an elephant as well as the dinosaur, one researcher was able to conclude that the sauropod Jobaria could "stand up", supporting its weight ... Full description.
Grade level: Intermediate (3-5), Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Illustration - scientific, Video, Ref. material
Subject: Paleontology
 
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Becoming a fossil is not easy. Most shells or bones decompose or get eaten. This radio broadcast describes how a group of scientists are dropping bags of potential fossils in the ocean to see just what it takes to turn them into stone. The clip is 2 minutes in length. Full description.
Grade level: General public
Resource type: Radio broadcast
Subject: Paleontology
 
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