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Dinosaur Adaptations

Create your own unique dinosaur species from everyday household items.

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Background

Millions of years ago, dinosaurs roamed the Earth. There were many different species, different shapes and sizes. Some of them had arms, some had wings and we are starting to learn that some dinosaurs had feathers!

While we can learn a lot about dinosaurs from their fossils, like what food they ate or the anatomy of their bones, it’s hard to know everything because we just weren’t around to double check. We can make some suggestions though, by studying the world around us.

In order to survive, animals adapt to the landscape they live in. For example, polar bears have thick coats to live in frozen areas, and camels survive in dry conditions by storing water.

But what about dinosaurs? If you had to design one to live in your kitchen, what would it need to survive?

What you’ll need

  • Paper plates/cups (spare food containers will also work)
  • Printable dinosaur templates found here

Things you can find in the craft box or the recycling bin:

  • Cardboard
  • Feathers
  • Scarves
  • Buttons
  • Coloured or patterned paper
  • Old toys (maybe your dinosaur needs to help another toy to survive the harsh landscape in your house!)
  • Glue, sticky tape and/or staples
  • Pens & pencils for colouring

 

What you’ll do

Step 1
Choose a body template for your dinosaur. This is the body that you will attach your dinosaur features to. Think about your dinosaur’s environment (which one will stick best to your fridge at home?) Attach it to a paper plate/cup or food container to make the body of your dinosaur.

Step 2
Choose a head for your dinosaur and attach it to your dinosaur. How is that head going to help it in your chosen landscape?
Think: where is the best spot? Is it reaching up, or down? Is it roaring? Does it need teeth?

Step 3

Choose some legs and feet for your dinosaur and attach it to your dinosaur. Are they legs for running or walking? How many legs do you think your dinosaur needs? Does it need claws?

Step 4
Choose your dinosaur tail and attach it to your dinosaur. Animals use tails for balance, protection or to help perform different actions, like climbing trees. What will your dinosaur use its tail for?

Step 5
Now it’s time to decorate your dinosaur. Choose some eyes, some feathers or make some scales! What colour should it be? What do you think your dinosaur should look like?

For an extra challenge

  • Make a dinosaur for the same space, but this time, change what food it eats. How will you have to adapt this dinosaur?
  • If you make multiple dinosaurs, you can try to classify them. Try sorting and grouping your dinosaurs by size and features.
A decorative pattern.

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