Dinosaur Discovery: Everything You Need to Be a Paleontologist
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Dinosaur Discovery: Everything You Need to Be a Paleontologist

by Chris McGowan, Erica Lyn Schmidt
     
 

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Dinosaurs like you've never seen them before—in a book packed with more than 25 hands-on experiments.

What do dinosaurs look like from the inside out? Take a journey with renowned paleontologist Chris McGowan as he examines species from Allosaurus to T. Rex! Along with each creature are experiments that kids can do on their own to make sedimentary rock,

Overview

Dinosaurs like you've never seen them before—in a book packed with more than 25 hands-on experiments.

What do dinosaurs look like from the inside out? Take a journey with renowned paleontologist Chris McGowan as he examines species from Allosaurus to T. Rex! Along with each creature are experiments that kids can do on their own to make sedimentary rock, replicate a fossil, and uncover how we know what we know about dinosaurs, even though they've been extinct for millions of years. More than twenty-five hands-on experiments include Breaking Bones, which uses chicken bones to see how fossils were preserved; creating a replica of a feathered Archaeopteryx fossil; and using a turkey neck to dissect a Brachiosaurus' bone structure. You'll be a paleontologist in no time!

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—A baker's dozen of prehistoric critters gets full spreads with large realistic illustrations, fact boxes, captions, species data, and an informative paragraph or two. Potentially unfamiliar terms are highlighted in bold type and defined in the glossary. The usual suspects (Allosaurus, T. rex, etc.) are represented, as is a new kid on the block (Sinosauropteryx) and some interesting neighborhood folk (Pteranodon, Ichthyosaurus, etc.). While many dinophiles will simply dine happily on these eye-catching pages, others will focus on the variety of experiments. Using mostly materials that might be on hand or readily available in building supply centers, the activities ask readers to check chicken bones for strength, discover the physics behind armored tails, record the insulating capabilities of feathers, and make fake fossils, among other things. The photos on these pages give the impression that the activities are simple, but a caveat (buried on the second page along with the CIP) states they are designed to be performed with the "help and supervision of a parent or other adult." This maximally unobtrusive location means it will never be noticed by eager experimenters, and will lead to some frustration. No mention is made of proper disposal of items like leftover glue and plaster of Paris, and there are no diagrams for some terms in the glossary (zygapophyses, for example.) Take a second look at Peter Larson and Kristin Donnan's Bones Rock! (Invisible Cities, 2004) but remember, this will be a book that gathers little dust.—Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
From the Publisher
In-depth facts about 13 dinosaurs are interspersed with activities that teach readers about anatomy and how paleontologists understand body structure.

Gearing his text to older dinosaur lovers, McGowan assumes prior knowledge and leaves out many explanatory details, such as a prehistoric timeline, map and definitions of the different types of dinosaurs. But for enthusiasts who can grasp the advanced vocabulary and concepts, this is a great resource for learning more about both dinosaurs and anatomy in general. The 27 activities and experiments illustrate the concepts presented and focus on the featured dinosaurs. By following the well-written directions as well as the picture steps, budding paleontologists will explore how a tail affects balance, discover binocular vision and learn how the two parts of a bone make them both stiff and elastic. While most use common household materials, there are some interesting ones that require supplies such as plaster of Paris and a long length of board. Schmidt’s detailed acrylic illustrations give life to the dinosaurs, and her scientific renderings of bones could have come straight out of an anatomy textbook. The spreads are also interspersed with photos, showing readers real fossil remains.

A thinking, active alternative for readers who fall between adult nonfiction and all the rhyming dino fare meant for the younger set. (Nonfiction. 10-14)

- KIRKUS REVIEWS 5/15/11

Kirkus Reviews

In-depth facts about 13 dinosaurs are interspersed with activities that teach readers about anatomy and how paleontologists understand body structure.

Gearing his text to older dinosaur lovers, McGowan assumes prior knowledge and leaves out many explanatory details, such as a prehistoric timeline, map and definitions of the different types of dinosaurs. But for enthusiasts who can grasp the advanced vocabulary and concepts, this is a great resource for learning more about both dinosaurs and anatomy in general. The 27 activities and experiments illustrate the concepts presented and focus on the featured dinosaurs. By following the well-written directions as well as the picture steps, budding paleontologists will explore how a tail affects balance, discover binocular vision and learn how the two parts of a bone make them both stiff and elastic. While most use common household materials, there are some interesting ones that require supplies such as plaster of Paris and a long length of board. Schmidt's detailed acrylic illustrations give life to the dinosaurs, and her scientific renderings of bones could have come straight out of an anatomy textbook. The spreads are also interspersed with photos, showing readers real fossil remains.

A thinking, active alternative for readers who fall between adult nonfiction and all the rhyming dino fare meant for the younger set. (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781416947646
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
06/28/2011
Edition description:
Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Pages:
48
Sales rank:
521,178
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 12.20(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
870L (what's this?)
Age Range:
7 - 11 Years

Meet the Author

Chris McGowan is retired as the curator in the dinosaur department of Canada's Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. An esteemed paleontologist and former professor of zoology at the University of Toronto, veteran of dinosaur digs around the world, and the author of several other books for young audiences, Chris lives in Toronto.

Erica Lyn Schmidt is a recent graduate of the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, where she won the Best of Show prize in the 2006 graduate exhibition. Among her illustration clients are the Burpee Museum of Natural History in Rockford, IL and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. She lives in Portage, WI.

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