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Today – 1/25 Critter in the news History of dinosaur discoveries In-class writing Go to the video! Administration: Honors Clear / unclear T-chart Biostratigraphy Carbon isotope stratigraphy Magnetostratigraphy An oxygen atom is an oxygen atom because

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Today – 1/25

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today 1 25
Today – 1/25
  • Critter in the news
  • History of dinosaur discoveries
  • In-class writing
clear unclear t chart
Clear / unclear T-chart
  • Biostratigraphy
  • Carbon isotope stratigraphy
  • Magnetostratigraphy

An oxygen atom is an oxygen atom because

a) it has 8 electrons

b) it has 8 protons

c) it has 8 neutrons

d) all of the above


In the ID article, Miller is against bringing ID into science classrooms because

a) he thinks it is impossible to believe in God

and evolution at the same time

b) the “theory of gravity” isn’t being tested in


c) it is untestable

d) all of the above


Megalosaurus was so hard to understand (i.e. make a realistic reconstruction of appearance and behavior) because

a) the original fossil material was so fragmentary

b) there was no pre-existing database of well-

understood dinosaur material to compare

it to

c) preconceptions both spiritual and scientific

made it hard to think about something so

radically different from anything alive today

d) all of the above


In chapter 3 of Gorgon, Roger Smith

a) overturns the conventional thinking that the P-T

boundary was not preserved in the

sedimentary rocks of the Karoo

b) correctly identifies the P-T boundary as the last

appearance of Dicynodon, not the first

appearance of Lystrosaurus

c) realizes that sediments below the boundary layer

were deposited by a large meandering river,

sediments above the boundary layer by braided


d) all of the above

last time
Last time:
  • Magnetostratigraphy
  • Reconstructing dinos from fossils
  • Protoceratops, Megalosaurus, Iguanodon
  • Buckland, Mantell, Owen
  • Steno, Hutton, Lyell, Darwin
taphonomy the study of how fossils get preserved
Taphonomy - the study of how fossils get preserved
  • How sedimentary rock deposits are formed and how dead animals get in them
  • Help us understand ancient ecosystems
  • Helps us understand biases in the fossil record
  • Some organisms and parts of organisms rarely preserved
  • How we make sense of a fossil find – what it does and doesn’t tell us

Berlin specimen - 1877

Solenhofen specimen - 60’s




Ichthyosaur from Holzmaden

brief history of bird origins debate
Brief history of bird origins debate
  • Archae has teeth, hand claws, and a bony tail like dinos; but feathers like birds
  • 1926 Heilmann decides birds did not descend from dinos because dinos lack wishbones (since found)
  • 1964 Deinonychus discovered
  • 1972 Walker suggests birds descended from an ancestral crocodilian



Ichnology: study of trace fossils

Connecticut Valley dinosaur tracks described by Edward Hitchcock 1836 - 1858

cope s law
Cope’s Law
  • Species in a lineage tend to get larger over time. Certainly not always true, but we will see some spectacular examples of it in this class.

 Stegosaurus ungulatus

Stegosaurus stenops


Allosaurus fragilis

dollo s law
Dollo’s Law
  • Law of Irreversible Evolution – species can evolve particular specializations, but can never re-evolve their original condition. First step towards the science of cladistics. Not completely true. For us, when a lineage loses a bone, it does not re-evolve it.

Brontosaurus, now called Apatosaurus


Ornithischia - “bird-hipped”

Saurischia - “lizard-hipped”