Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Activity 1. Make a Fossil Sandwich 2
Activity 2. What Doesn’t Belong? 4
Activity 3. Dinosaur or Mammal? 6
Activity 4. Gorge Dessert 8
Activity 5. Extinction! 10
Activity 6. The Tooth Tells a Tale 12
Activity 7. Ice Age Mud from an Ancient Pond 14
Further Information: Books, web, video, and teacher tools 16
Geological timescale 17

The activities in this booklet, taken together, illustrate many of the concepts that paleontologists must consider daily in their research. Concepts such as size and shape, form and function, and the process of science relate to new national and state standards in science education.

Illustrated by Renee Nester.

Paleontological Research Institution

The Paleontological Research Institution (PRI) serves society by increasing and disseminating information about the history of the Earth and its life. PRI promotes Earth science education through: Earth science educational outreach to school classes and community groups; teacher training workshops; public fossil collecting field trips, interpretive walks and presentations; education publications and products; on- and offsite exhibits; and a website that complements other areas of programming. For detailed information about PRI educational programming please contact the Department of Education at


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