Dinosaurs

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Dino fact sheets

Click on the links below to view fact sheets on the main dinosaurs at the Redpath Museum.
Gorgosaurus                               Dromaeosaurus          
Gorgosaurus                                   Dromaeosaurus


Triceratops                               Tyrannosaurus rex
Triceratops                                      Tyrannosaurus rex

For a printable PDF version, download Dinosaurs of the Redpath Museum (PDF)

Quick Facts about our Dinosaurs

Gorgosaurus libratus  and cousin Tyranosaurs rex (cranium only, on loan from Chicago Field Museum)
Gorgosaurus = ‘fierce lizard’ (IN LATIN)

  • smaller, slightly older cousin of the famous Tyrannosaurus rex
  • a juvenile, probably equivalent to a human teenager, and is only two-thirds the adult size.
  • a carnivore
  • Gorgosaurus could run fast for short distances.

Dromaeosaurus  = ‘running lizard’

  • relatively small size, very successful pack hunters
  • retractable claw and large optic nerve
  • long tails with ossified tendons were used to maintain balance while running/hunting
  • could run fast for long distances

Archaeopteryx = ‘ancient wing’, world’s oldest bird.

  • Only ten fossils of this animal have ever been found, all from a place in Germany called Solenhofen.

WHO IS THE SCIENTIST?

Paleontologists work on fossilized remains of life. They prospect for sites that might have buried fossil animals or plants, they excavate the sites, examine and research all the details such as sediment, soil, disturbance etc.  At the Redpath Museum the Paleobiology research lab is run by Dr. Hans Larsson. You can learn about his scientific research work by checking out his website.

Is it real? Most of the skeletons are casts, they are replicas made from epoxy resins or polymers. Real fossilized dinosaur bones are too heavy and fragile to be mounted in life-like poses.

What happened to the dinosaurs? Massive extinction event in Late Cretaceous period about 65.8 million years ago when a huge meteorite crashed into the Gulf of Mexico. This reduced sunlight for 20,000 years after the event.

Why is dinosaur research important? Dinosaurs were around for a very long time, and so for any kind of study of evolutionary change or diversity over a long period of time, dinosaurs are the best subject. Coupled to the fact that birds are dinosaurs and we have the opportunity to study a truly incredible and important piece of evolutionary history – the origin of powered flight – and of course gain insights into the origins and changes of the birds (themselves an important and diverse group). Dinosaurs also include the largest terrestrial animals of all time in their ranks and so provide interest for biomechanics, the evolution of large size, the structures of ecosystems and more. Finally, dinosaurs have already attracted a lot of research interest over the years, which means we know more about them than many other groups so we already have a solid base of knowledge.



Sara: The Biography

Triceratops

Sara, the teenage triceratops that lived 65 million years ago in Saskatchewan, was discovered by Redpath Museum palaeontologist Dr. Hans Larsson and his field team of students (collected under permit from the Royal Saskatchewan Museum).

a)Slides with audio commentary on Sara's discovery and anatomy. Open the PowerPoint or PDF and then click on the audio icon to hear the commentary for each slide.
      Triceratops commentary and slides (PPT)
      Triceratops commentary and slides (PDF)

b) Read about Sara's discovery and what we know about her life: Sara's Biography (PDF)


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