Dinosaurs in Antarctica?

Contributor
Field Museum- Chicago
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Animation/Movie , Phenomenon
Note
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.

Reviews

Description

This three-minute video from the Field Museum of Chicago shows scientists locating and digging for fossils in Antarctica. This is the first video in a series documenting the team’s daily life and field work during a fossil hunting expedition. This clip can be used as an introduction to MS-ESS2-3, which can be used to

Analyze and interpret data on the distribution of fossils and to provide evidence of past plate motions.

The specific phenomenon reported on this piece could spark the following questions:

Why were dinosaurs living in Antarctica?

Was Antarctica always cold?

What factors are responsible for allowing those animals to live in an uninhabitable location?

Did the same dinosaurs live on other continents?

How could the same dinosaurs end up on different continents?

 

Intended Audience

Educator and learner
Educational Level
  • Grade 8
  • Grade 7
  • Grade 6
  • Middle School
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Free access - The right to view and/or download material without financial, registration, or excessive advertising barriers.

Performance Expectations

MS-ESS2-3 Analyze and interpret data on the distribution of fossils and rocks, continental shapes, and seafloor structures to provide evidence of the past plate motions.

Clarification Statement: Examples of data include similarities of rock and fossil types on different continents, the shapes of the continents (including continental shelves), and the locations of ocean structures (such as ridges, fracture zones, and trenches).

Assessment Boundary: Paleomagnetic anomalies in oceanic and continental crust are not assessed.

This resource was not designed to build towards this performance expectation, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
This video shows scientists at work and real examples of the fossils they have dug up from their visit to Antarctica. This video gives real evidence to students that fossils are found in the Antarctic. This video does mention the rocks found there are visible during the summer and are the age of the dinosaurs, but does not make any direct connections to continental shapes or seafloor structures. The globe graphic highlights evidence of past plate motions along with the discovery of plant, sea animal and dinosaur fossils.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource was not designed to build towards this science and engineering practice, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
In the video clip the scientists are presenting dinosaur fossils they have discovered that are over 60 million years old. It shows the scientists digging in the frozen ground and identifying the species. Students will want to know how the fossils got there and how the animals died. Students can find additional information to answer their questions about why the animals were living in Antarctica by understanding plate movements, the process of seafloor spreading to drive this movement and that types of rocks found today on various continents match up with rocks also found in Antarctica. Students may wonder if these fossils are found elsewhere in the world and if they lived in warm or cold climates.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
This video shows scientists excavating fossils from several locations on the continent of Antarctica. Students can review the geologic time scale when comparing the ages of the fossils discovered by scientists in this video. The students will observe the rock layers shown in the video of the mountainous areas of Antarctica and can make predictions about which of the layers is the oldest, and which is the youngest.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource was not designed to build towards this crosscutting concept, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
As students view this video, they will see fossils that were determined to be over 60 million years old. Students should be encouraged to make connections between the distributions of fossils and past plate movements of the continents. Other factors to include are the “Why and How”: Why are fossils found in Antarctica and also found on other continents? How did the Earth’s plates move around so that Antarctica had a warmer climate for dinosaurs to live in?

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: - none -

  • Instructional Supports: - none -

  • Monitoring Student Progress: - none -

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: - none -