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Question Sheet: Dinosaur Dig


Before reading:

  1. Do you think that scientists still discover new dinosaurs? Why or why not?
  2. What would you bring with you if you were going on a weeklong dinosaur dig?


During reading:

  1. How has the land in central Montana changed since the time of the dinosaurs?
  2. Since 1985, what discoveries have been made on the 5E Ranch?
  3. Why does Nate Murphy say that sauropod skulls are very rare?
  4. What bones did the dinosaur dig team unearth this year at the original

    sauropod site?

  5. Aside from sauropod bones, what other fossils were found on this trip?
  6. How do scientists protect and preserve a fossil that they haven't finished


After reading:

  1. Compare the physical characteristics of a sauropod to another dinosaur of

    your choosing. What are the key differences between the two types of dinosaur?

    See www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/


    (Enchanted Learning).

  2. What fact in this article did you find most surprising? Why?
  3. Where do you think that the sauropod skull and bones should end up? Select a

    museum that would be a good place to house the bones and explain why you would recommend that particular museum. See www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/dinosaurs/fun/Museums.shtml

    (Enchanted Learning).

  4. What does a paleontologist do? Besides paleontologists, what other sorts of

    scientists would be interested in fossils? See www.priweb.org/ed/lol/careers.html (Paleontological Research Institution).

  5. What are some of the risks to the fossils themselves when researchers and

    others unearth dinosaur bones? See www.expressnews.ualberta.ca/article.cfm?id=7698 (University of Alberta) or english.people.com.cn/200207/22/


    (People's Daily, China).

  6. Why is it important that scientists write articles about their findings?


  1. In what parts of the United States are dinosaur bones most likely to be

    found? See content.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=4745 (Scholastic)

    or www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/dinosaurs/dinofossils/locations/

    (Enchanted Learning).

  2. Name four places outside of the United States where paleontologists have

    found dinosaur bones. See www.allaboutspace.com/subjects/


    (Enchanted Learning).

  3. How would a land mass go from being a wet area near sea level to an arid,

    elevated region? See www.lib.ndsu.nodak.edu/govdocs/text/greatplains/text.html

    (University of North Dakota).


  1. Suppose that you are a reporter for the local Montana newspaper. Write an

    article about the people digging for dinosaur bones in the area. What

    information would you include? What would you need to know about the people at the dig? What aspect of the dig would you focus on in your article? See www.montanadinosaurdigs.com/sauro.htm (Judith River Dinosaur


  2. Compare three Web sites that have information about sauropods. Which site is

    the most helpful? Why? Suggest one way in which each site could be improved. See www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/dinosaurs/glossary/Sauropod.shtml

    (Enchanted Learning), www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/diapsids/saurischia/sauropoda.html

    (University of California, Berkeley), and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sauropod (Wikipedia).


Using the dinosaur data files at internt.nhm.ac.uk/jdsml/nature-online/dino-directory/


(Natural History Museum), create a table listing all plant-eating (herbivorous) dinosaurs, together with the length, height, and mass of each one. For example, Diplodocus was 26 meters long, 8 meters high, and weighed 10,000

kilograms. Then, use a bar graph to show the length of all plant-eating

dinosaurs, from shortest to longest.

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