Jurassic Herbivore Dinosaurs
For today we are looking more closely at a 7 of the herbivore dinosaurs from the Jurassic Period. We learned more about Apatosaurus, Brahiosaurus, Diplodocus, Kentrosaurus, Stegosaurus, Toujiangosaurus, and Zigongosaurus.
As you learn each dinosaur on this day look up the Dino Dictionary to learn how to correctly pronounce their names, and find each dinosaur on the dinosaur classification chart that we made earlier.
- Apatosaurus- read Apatosaurus by Susan H. Gray
- Brachiosaurus- read Brachiosaurus by Carol K. Lindeen and read pages pages in Dinosaurs: Diggin’ Discovery (A+ Let’s Grow Smart!).
- Diplodocus- read pages page 22 in Dinosaurs: Diggin’ Discovery (A+ Let’s Grow Smart!) and read Diplodocus by Kimberley Jane Pryor.
- Kentrosaurus- read pages page 13 in Dinosaurs: Diggin’ Discovery (A+ Let’s Grow Smart!).
Stegosaurus- read Stegosaurus by Susan H. Gray and read pages page 11 in Dinosaurs: Diggin’ Discovery (A+ Let’s Grow Smart!).
Tuojiangosaurus- read pages page 27 in Dinosaurs: Diggin’ Discovery (A+ Let’s Grow Smart!).
Translation: Deceptive Lizard
Period: Jurassic period
Height: 30 feet
Length: 75 feet
Weight: 66,000 lbs
Physical Appearance: Apatosaurus is one of the best known of all dinosaurs but usually by its more popular name “Brontosaurus”. Its 20-foot-long neck supported a rather small head and its brain was about the size of a large apple. These spines supported the ligaments that held up the neck and tail. Apatosaurus walked on 4 legs like other Sauropods.
Lifestyle: Apatosaurus’ 30-foot whip-like tail was probably its only means of self-defense. Apatosaurus would swallow rocks to sit in his stomach and help grind up it’s food. These rocks were called gastroids. Like all reptiles Apatosaurus babies hatched from eggs.
Discovered by: Apatosaurus was named in 1877 by US paleontologist Othniel C. Marsh. Fossilized Apatosaurus footprints have been found in Colorado, USA that were about a yard wide.
J filled in the Apatosaurus Information Page to review what he learned.
Translation: Arm Lizard
Period: Jurassic period
Height: 45 feet
Length: 85 feet
Weight: 50 tons
Physical Appearance: It had a long neck, small head, and relatively short, thick tail. Brachiosaurus walked on four legs and, like the other Brachiosaurids and unlike most dinosaurs, its front legs were longer than its hind legs. It had a claw on the first toe of each front foot and claws on the first three toes of each rear foot.
Lifestyle: It probably ate the tops of tall trees with its large spatulate (chisel-shaped) teeth. It swallowed its food whole, without chewing it, digesting the plant material in its gut. Like all dinosaurs, Brachiosaurus laid eggs to produce offspring.
Discovered by: Brachiosaurus was first found in the Grand River Valley, in western Colorado, USA, in 1900.
I printed out this Brachiosaurus Color by Number page for J to review his addition facts up to 10.
Translation: Double Beam
Height: 30 feet
Length: 89 feet
Weight: 55,000 pounds
Physical Appearance: Its nostrils were at the top of its head and it had peg-like teeth, but only in the front of the jaws. Its front legs were shorter than its back legs, and all its legs had elephant-like, five-toed feet. One toe on each foot had a thumb claw, probably for protection.
Lifestyle: It swallowed leaves whole, without chewing them, and may have swallowed gastroliths (stones that remained in its stomach) to help digest this tough plant material. It had blunt teeth, useful for stripping foliage.
Discovered by: The first Diplodocus fossils were found in Colorado by Benjamin Mudge and Samuel Wendell in 1877. Dipoldocus was named in 1887 by paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh.
If I Were a Diplodocus
Height: 16 feet
Length: 6 feet
Weight: 2 tons
Physical Appearance: Its skull was long and narrow, with a toothless beak and small cheek teeth; the head was carried close to the ground. Kentrosaurus had two rows of bony plates that were embedded in its back, going from its neck to its mid-section. A double row of spikes ran from its mid-section to its tail, and a pair of spikes protected its shoulders.
Lifestyle: Its small brain was the size of a walnut. The function of the plates is uncertain; perhaps they were for temperature regulation, since they contained networks of blood vessels, or maybe they were for protection or mating display purposes. The spikes served as protection from predators.
Discovered by: Kentrosaurus was named in 1915 by Edwin Hennig. Kentrosaurus fossils have been found in Tendaguru, Tanzania, Africa. (Find Tanzania on the world map).
J filled in the Kentroaurus Information Page to review what he learned.
Translation: Roof Lizard
Height: 14 feet
Length: 30 feet
Weight: 6,000 pounds
Physical Appearance: . The large triangular plates that ran along its back were probably arranged in a double row, and its tail was armed with four long spikes. Stegosaurus walked on all 4 legs. It had a small brain the size of a walnut.
Lifestyle: The plates may have served the purpose of regulating Stegosaurus’ internal temperature, dissipating heat when turned from the sun, absorbing heat when faced into the sun. The size of plates may also have made Stegosaurus appear larger to predators and served to deter them from attacking.
Discovered by: The first Stegosaurus fossil was found in Colorado, USA, in 1876 by M. P. Felch. Paleontologist Othniel C. Marsh named Stegosaurus in 1877. (Find Colorado on a US map).
- Construction Paper
- Writing Paper
- Give the child colored construction paper to cut out a stegosaurus body without the plates on his back. Give him small triangle colors of paper for the plates.
- Let the student make up their own pattern using the triangles. Get them to be creative…not to do a simple AB pattern…
- J wanted to add a writing about a Stegosaurus fact that he had learned to the middle of it.
3-D Stegosaurus Puzzle
J had gotten this 3-D Stegosaurus Skin Puzzle for his birthday one year. He decided that today was a good day to put it together again.
Translation: Tuo River lizard
Height: 11 feet
Length: 30 feet
Weight: 6,000 pounds
Physical Appearance: Tuojiangosaurus had two rows of pointed plates along the spine, which became taller over the hip region. It also had two outward-pointing spikes on each side of the end of the tail, angled at approximately 45 degrees to the vertical.
Lifestyle:It was probably unable to rear up on its hind legs like that animal. This suggests that it would have eaten low-lying, ground vegetation.
Discovered by: T. multispinus Dong in 1977
Translation: Lizard from Zigong, China
Height: 25 feet
Length: 60 feet
Weight: 40,000 pounds
Physical Appearance: It had a long neck, a long tail, a small head with spoon-shaped teeth, and thick, elephant-like legs.
Lifestyle: Zigongosaurus was a large quadrupedal (walked on four legs) herbivore. Zigongosaurus may have travelled in herds and migrated when they depleted their local food supply. Zigongosaurus may have hatched from eggs, like other sauropods. Sauropod eggs have been found in a linear pattern and not in nests; presumably the eggs were laid as the animal was walking. It is thought that sauropods did not take care of their eggs. Sauropods life spans may have been in the order of 100 years.
Discovered by: An almost complete Zigongosaurus skeleton was found in Zigong, China. Zigongosaurus was named by Hou, Chao, and Chu in 1976. (Find China on a globe).
Directions: Fill out the Dinosaur Research Report with the information you learned about the Zigongosaurus.
Dinosaur Unit Study