The worksheets provide students with inquiring questions about dinosaurs. These aren’t your basic information sheets.

Over one hundred and sixty million years ago dinosaurs ruled planet Earth. It is thought, based on the fossil record, that dinosaurs inhabited the Earth for over one hundred and eighty million years. The word Dinosaur, itself, translates into "terrible lizard" in the Greek Language. Dinosaurs are thought to have roamed the Earth until about sixty-five million years ago when a mass planet extinction event is thought to have occurred. The most commonly accepted theory is that a massive asteroid plunged to Earth kicking up enough dust and rubbish to block the Sun light from reaching the Earth's surface. This complete lack of sunlight resulted in a huge change of the planet's ecosystem.

These dinosaur reading worksheets explore all the different forms of dinosaurs that we have studied. We will look at the ancestry of dinosaurs as well what they ate and how intelligent that they were. We will explore the common questions that all students have like how did we learn of the existence of dinosaurs, if we never saw them before? Could they swim or fly? We also explore pop culture and look that the realism of the movie Jurassic Park. These worksheets look at prehistoric life and the way dinosaurs made their way. We look at classes of dinosaurs and how they made their way around.

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The Avian

These guys have been extinct for 66 million years. Or have they? Recent fossil discoveries from Mesozoic-aged rocks worldwide have proven that a group of small carnivores known as maniraptoran theropods evolved into birds.

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Which behaviors do maniraptoran theropods have in common with birds? Why didn't the avian become extinct?

Their Ancestors

The earliest Archosaurs were reptiles a lot like modern lizards. Many different types of reptiles evolved from these first Archosaurs, including some herbivores. Later Archosaurs came in many varieties.

QUESTIONS: Their Ancestors

What do scientists believe about the Lagosuchus? Where was the first Eoraptor fossil found?

Measuring Intelligence with EQ

Modern day naturalists evaluate the intelligence of both extinct and living animals by a formula called the Encephalization Quotient, or EQ.

QUESTIONS: Measuring Intelligence with EQ

Not including humans, what is the smartest mammal alive today? How big were their brains?

Discovering Dinosaurs

In 1841, an anatomist named Richard Owen saw a large piece of bone from the spine of a prehistoric animal that had been named Iguanodon a few decades earlier. Owen realized that the Iguanodon fossil was similar to those of two other large, prehistoric animals that scientists had described, Megalosaurus and Hylaeosaurus.

QUESTIONS: Discovering

What astonishing discovery did Paleontologists make as they began to sort and classify dinosaurs?

Could They Swim?

Proving that a dinosaur could swim was believed to be impossible, since they leaves no tracks when swimming.

QUESTIONS: Could They Swim?

We will examine all of the evidence that we had on the subject.

Theropods and Cladistics

All theropods share certain characteristics. Theropods have hollow, thin walled bones. They have three main fingers on the hand, and the fourth and fifth digits are smaller than the others.

QUESTIONS: Theropods and Cladistics

What are the characteristics of a theropod?

Were the Velociraptors in Jurassic Park Realistic?

Unlike the human-sized terrors in Jurassic Park, velociraptors were actually tiny (the size of a small dog) and covered with feathers. In Jurassic Park III, the velociraptors can be trained, and can communicate intelligently with one another, but there is no scientific evidence to suggest that was actually the case.

QUESTIONS: Were the Velociraptors in Jurassic Park Realistic?

The makers of Jurassic Park took care to ensure the movie was realistic. Why are there inaccuracies in the movie?

The Cretaceous Period

Dinosaur diversity reached its peak in the Cretaceous period. Thousands of genera of carnivores thrived, including raptors and tyrannosaurs.

QUESTIONS: The Cretaceous Period

What happened to diversity during the cretaceous period?


A paleontologist determines the location of fossils and uses tools like chisels, drills, picks, shovels, and brushes to remove fossils from layers of sedimentary rock.

QUESTIONS: Paleontology

Which of the following does a paleontologist use to evaluate discoveries?

Dinosaurs in Popular Culture

The first dinosaur toys were made of metal by the Sell Rite Gifts (SRG) company in the 1940s. They were sold in the gifts shops at the American Museum of Natural History in New York for almost a decade. In the 1950s, the Marx toy company began producing plastic dinosaur toy sets, opening the way for many other toy companies to produce their own versions.

QUESTIONS: Popular Culture

Which toy company first began producing plastic dinosaur sets?