DINOSAURS, CATASTROPHES, AND EXTINCTIONS
Study Sheet for Part 1
What are dinosaurs?
Coined by Sir Richard Owen in 1842 to describe a
few fossil bones of large, extinct “reptiles.”
Are there flying dinosaurs?
Yes, all modern birds are dinosaurs. The term dinosaur is usually
shorthand for ‘non-avian dinosaurs,’ which is the extinct dinos.
No, just marine reptiles.
Not all ancient animals, not
even all Mesozoic reptiles, are dinosaurs.
When did dinosaurs live?
160 my span, from 228-65my
. In what regions
are their remains found?
All continents; mainly in Asia and Western
Define a "fossil."
Parts of animals that are preserved after their death.
How are soft part of animals preserved?
Original -- apatite is the
mineral in bone, permineralization, recrystallization & replacement,
casts & molds.
Deposition by a meandering river includes several subenvironments in
which animals can be buried. Name them.
Point bar, cut bank, oxbow
In what condition would fossils recovered from burial in each most likely
Be able to name and discuss pre-burial and post-burial biases of the fossil
record. What may a bone in a rock mean, in addition to the obvious
possibility that the animal lived and died when and where the rock was
Pre-burial--disarticulation, scavenging, weathering,
dissolution. Post-burial—dissolution, erosion, non-exposure, non-
collecting & preparation damage--Human decisions can bias the
record we have to study
For what are the following people known?
- Coined the term
‘dinosauria’ after finding ancient reptile bones.
- Suggested that
fossils come from once living organisms. Credited with three of the
defining principles of the science of stratigraphy.
deposition on the seabed, arguing that many layers can be
formed. Gradualism -> uniformitarianism. William Smith
English geology. Observed rock layers, or strata, and found that they