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Dinosaur Discovery

Everything You Need to Be a Paleontologist

Illustrated by Erica Lyn Schmidt



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About The Book

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!

About The Author

Photograph by Liz McGowan

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.

About The Illustrator

Photograph by Elliot Powell

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.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (June 28, 2011)
  • Length: 48 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781416947646
  • Grades: 2 - 6
  • Ages: 7 - 11

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Raves and 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)


Awards and Honors

  • CBC/NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book

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