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Re: Ideas for Short Dinosaur Presentation

Tom's lecture sounds very similar to a talk I've given to secondary
school pupils (equivalent of late middle school or early high school).
The bird origin thing is a cool one to ram home, I think: most people
know birds and dinosaurs are somehow linked, but stressing that birds
_are_ dinosaurs may warp a few little minds. Plus, it can be tied into
the evolutionary studies that most kids will be going through in their
classes at that age. The new ideas on predicating dinosaur colour are
good too, and some discussion of the K/T extinction is always fun. And
you cannot step wrong with tyrannosaurs.



Dr. Mark Witton
Palaeobiology Research Group
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Portsmouth
Burnaby Building
Burnaby Road

Tel: (44)2392 842418
E-mail: Mark.Witton@port.ac.uk

If pterosaurs are your thing, be sure to pop by:

- Pterosaur.Net: www.pterosaur.net
- The Pterosaur.Net blog: http://pterosaur-net.blogspot.com/
- My pterosaur artwork: www.flickr.com/photos/markwitton 

>>> "Thomas R. Holtz, Jr." <tholtz@umd.edu> 19/02/2012 01:47 >>>

On Sat, February 18, 2012 2:46 pm, Dino Guy Ralph wrote:
> If you were going to put together a brief presentation on dinosaurs
for a
> general audience, what would be the main topics that you would want
> cover?  I'm talking about a fun little enrichment talk for high
school or
> college level students, with just a handful of topics.  The idea is
> cover the basics of dinosaur science rather than to devote the talk
to a
> particular specialization ("Histology of an unidentifiable
> bone fragment and its implications for reconstructing the
> paleoecology of Australia " -- not).

What is a dinosaur? What isn't a dinosaur?
How fossils are formed. How fossils are discovered. How fossils are
How we reconstruct the biology of dinosaurs. How we reconstruct the
appearance of dinosaurs.
Overview of dinosaur diversity: major sorts (including origin of
New discoveries in the world of dinosaur science (esp. anything that
been in the news in the last year or so, ESPECIALLY if it has been
Q & A

> What topics would you include in a brief talk on the history of life
> earth?  (Let's see just how fast this Wayback machine can go -- no
> for the boring stuff)!

Basics of physical stratigraphy & biostratigraphy = how we know the
is old
How rocks record ancient environments
Scale of geologic time
Origin of Earth, of the oldest rocks, of the oldest traces of life
Rise of photosynthesis, the Great Oxidation Event
Snowball Earth
Rise of multicellular animals
Cambrian Explosion
Diversification of marine forms
Colonization of land
P/Tr extinction event
The Age of Reptiles; rise of modern fauna
K/Pg extinction
The Age of Mammals; rise of the grasslands
Origins of hominins
Quaternary ice ages
Origin and spread of Homo sapiens
The Anthropocene

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Email: tholtz@umd.edu   Phone: 301-405-4084
Office: Centreville 1216
Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
Fax: 301-314-9661

Faculty Director, Science & Global Change Program, College Park
Fax: 301-314-9843

Mailing Address:        Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                        Department of Geology
                        Building 237, Room 1117
                        University of Maryland
                        College Park, MD 20742 USA