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Phylogenetic Classification

Introduces classification based on evolutionary history.

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Don't Call That A Duckbill!!
Teacher Contributed

Don't Call That A Duckbill!!

Student Exploration

Yum, Conifers

Because most of them went extinct and the Age of Dinosaurs ended and the Age of Mammals began, some people still think of dinosaurs as failed organisms. Somehow they weren't as good as mammals, they were flawed and these flaws did them in. Science no longer sees dinosaurs this way. Remember, science is an ongoing process where theories and views are reevaluated as new information comes in. The ongoing work of scientists has led to the recognition of Dinosauria as a distinct phylum all its own, as well as recognizing that not all dinosaurs went extinct, just the non-avian ones, which is a fancy way of saying dinosaurs are still around, we just call them birds. One reason for these advances are new fossil finds. As more and more finds were discovered and science advanced in other areas like geology, ecology, paleoclimatology, evolution and genetics, it became increasingly clear that dinosaurs were not just big lizards but something quite different and quite well adjusted to the world they lived in. Watch this video to find out about a truly remarkable find, a dinosaur with it's last meal preserved!

Extension Investigation

Use the resources below to answer the following questions:

  1. Why does Dr. Bakker hate the name duckbill? Explain your answer as fully as you can.
  2. How do the bills of duckbill dinosaurs differ from those of ducks?
  3. Why do large herbivores need to have large guts? What do they have in these guts that humans don't need?
  4. What was one suspicion of scientists that Leonardo confirmed?
  5. How do the teeth of duckbill dinosaurs differ from those of cows or horses? How did the vegetation that duckbill dinosaurs ate differ from the vegetation eaten by cows and horses today?


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