Dinosaurs have long been a fascination of humans. They existed millions and millions of years ago, but they are still very much alive and kicking today. So how does dinosaur discovery work? How did their fascination with dinosaurs start? And what is it essential to know about them? Check out this blog to find out more.
Fossils and paleontologists
Fossils are the remains or traces of ancient life. They can be found in rocks and other areas where they have been preserved. When an organism dies, its remains decay, leaving behind only a few parts that remain intact. Sometimes these remains can be fossilized if they’re buried quickly enough to protect them from decomposition.
There are many different types of fossils depending on what type of organism they belonged to and where they were found. Fossils found in marine environments usually consist of bones and shells; whereas, land-dwelling creatures tend to leave behind their teeth, jaws and spines as well as tracks from walking on shorelines during their lifetime.
Techniques and equipment
Fossils are found in the ground. They’re also found in rocks, and there are several different types of rock that fossils can be found in. Fossils are most commonly found in sedimentary rocks, which is a type of rock that’s formed from layers of sand or mud that have been compacted over time by pressure from wind or water. This compaction can cause previously organic matter to become fossilized, such as shells from animals living on land being crushed into sand by wave action and then becoming part of a large stretch of landmass.
Some other types of sedimentary rock include volcanic ash deposits (such as those left behind after volcanoes erupt), lava flows (like those caused when flowing water cools down rapidly), meteorites (when they impact Earth’s surface), and even man-made structures such as concrete cements.
What’s in a name?
The name of the dinosaur is usually in a few parts: the generic name, which is always capitalized and always ends with “saurus,” and then the specific name. The generic name consists of two parts: your genus and your species. The species is always lowercase, so for example you might have Tyrannosaurus rex (the most famous T-Rex), Allosaurus fragilis (your typical big-mouthed dinosauroid) and Megalosaurus bucklandii (an early carnivore).
The specific name can be named after a person who discovered it, or if not that then someone who named it or helped find it out more about it. For example there’s Hadrosaurus foulkii which means “Foulk’s duckbilled dinosaur” – though historically speaking that was actually based on Sue, who was later found out to be a Tyrannosaurus rex!
Classification of dinosaurs
- The classification system for dinosaurs is based on the Linnaean classification system, which also applies to other living and extinct animals. In this system, every living thing has a name that corresponds to its species. For example, you are Homo sapiens (the Latin word for “wise”) and your dog is Canis lupus familiaris (the Latin word for “wolf”).
- The first person to propose a dinosaur classification system was a German scientist named Johann Hermann von Meyer in 1832. He called it the Dinosauria and included three groups: 1) Saurischia (lizard-hipped), 2) Ornithischia (bird-hipped), and 3) Stegosauria (plated reptile). He didn’t include any dinosaurs into these categories because he thought they were simply giant birds or lizards!
- Over time, scientists realized that there needed to be more subdivisions within each group until finally Dr. Harry Govier Seeley came up with his own way of dividing dinosaurs into two primary groups: 1) Saurischian Dinosaurs; which includes Sauropods and Predatory Dinosaurs like Allosaurus; 2) Ornithodiran Dinosaurs; this group includes Herbivores such as Triceratops but also some carnivores like Troodon
Fossils of Australia
Australia is a land of many riches, and this includes some of the best preserved dinosaur fossils in the world. The rich diversity of Australia’s fossils comes from all over the world: Australia has fossils that date back to every time period and continent on Earth, including South America, Africa, Asia and North America.
If you’re interested in learning more about Australian dinosaurs or finding out how to get involved with a dig yourself (I know I am!), check out our website at www.australianfossilmuseum.com!
Learn more about the fascinating process of dinosaur discovery by reading our blog.
Dinosaur fossils are found all over the globe. They are often discovered in sedimentary rock, which is a type of rock that forms from layers of sand and silt that settle together over time. Sandstone and shale are examples of sedimentary rocks. Soil can also be a source of dinosaur fossils, especially if it’s rich in minerals like iron oxide or manganese oxides. These minerals give the soil its red color, which makes it easier to spot fossils when they’re buried under the surface!
It’s not uncommon for amateur paleontologists to go out into the field with just minimal tools (like a shovel) hoping they’ll find some cool bones lying around! However, there are some more advanced techniques used by experienced fossil hunters as well:
we can guarantee you’ll be a dinosaur expert in no time.