Welcome to Geologic Explorations: Dino Inquiry. This activity allows
you to explore a variety of dinosaur fossil bones from the Dinosaur
National Monument quarry using Quicktime Virtual Reality (QTVR) panoramas
and digital still imagery.
Paleontology is the science of discovering and studying the fossil
record to decipher the history of life. Paleontologists study fossils
to learn about the functional characteristics of extinct animals. Functional
characteristics of dinosaurs can be inferred in one or both of two ways:
1. By the mechanical relationships of the parts preserved, as in the
consideration of postures, locomotion, and food habitats of many dinosaurs,
2. By a close analogy of the parts preserved with living animals.
Sometimes observable features in dinosaur fossils do not lend themselves
well to mechanical analysis or to inference from analogies. In this
case, inferences about their functional characteristics are especially
difficult to make.
Explore the the QuickTime Virtual Reality panoramas
and digital images of the dinosaur
fossil bones at the Dinosaur National Monument quarry. Examine the characteristics
of the dinosaur fossils. Predict a bone's function based on your structural
observations of the preserved bones. What similarities do you notice?
What differences do you notice?
You must have a QuickTime 3.0 (or higher) plug-in in your Web browser's
Plug-In folder to view the Dino Inquiry QuickTime Virtual Reality (QTVR)
movies. The latest version of QuickTime (plug-in included) can be downloaded
Once you have made your inferences regarding the functional characteristics
of the bones, compare your inferences to the bone
key of the east cliff face and the center
section of the cliff face. The illustrations in these keys illustrate
dinosaur fossil resources at Dinosaur National Monument.
Panoramas | Images 1 | Images 2 | Images 3 | East Cliff Face Key | Center
Cliff Face Key
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