Young Scholars OHIO 2010



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Front row, from left: Chloe, Sidney, M'Kinzy, Kyle, Jamie. Middle row, from left: Amy Martiny, Gus, Jeremy, Alaina, Izzi. Back row, from left: Ryan Ridgely, Dave Dufeau, William Porter, Eric Snively, Jason Bourke, Larry Witmer

For more photos, visit the album on our Facebook page!

Field Guide to the Dinosaurs of the WitmerLab

The Young Scholars OHIO program, in conjunction with the OU Office of Nationally Competitive Awards and the Honors Tutorial College, brought about 35 profoundly gifted students aged 6–16 from 10 states across the country to Ohio University for a range of enrichment programs. WitmerLab hosted nine of these students on 17 May 2010 for a workshop wherein the students worked with the 50+ dinosaur skull casts in the lab and WitmerLab staff and grad students to learn how paleontologists "flesh out" out the past. In addition to discovering the diversity and drama of dinosaur evolution, the students created this Field Guide to the Dinosaurs of the WitmerLab. A more complete photo gallery to our dinosaur skull cast collection can be found on our WitmerLab Collection page.

This video ran on the lab big-screen during the workshop. Here's more.

Sidney & Conchoraptor Kyle & T. rex M'Kinzy & Archaeopteryx
The Conchoraptor is a dinosaur related to birds today. It lived in Mongolia in the Late Cretaceous, 76 MYA. They probably were omnivores, and they had feathers.
My favorite dinosaur is very big. It has very sharp teeth. It is a T. rex. It’s bigger than you think!

Archaeopteryx was my dino. It looked cool to me. It has teeth and feathers.

Alaina & Diatryma Jeremy & Deinonychus Jamie & Gastornis
My favorite dinosaur has no teeth. Diatryma is a bird with a powerful jaw. I like him because he doesn’t seem harmful and he seems to be a peaceful kind.

My favorite dinosaur is Deinonychus. It has sharp claws, and that is one of the reasons I like it. Another reason why I like it is because it is COOL!!!

Gastornis could crush your head like a coconut. It was the top bird of the Pliocene. It ate small horses and Leptictidiums.  It only laid one egg at a time. It was very territorial. [note: Gastornis is the European name for Diatryma.]

Chloe & T. rex Gus & Velociraptor/Falcarius Izzi & Anhanguera
The T. rex is the most interesting dinosaur to me. It has the most powerful jaws in the world of dinosaurs!  The T. rex’s jaw is deeper than a rhinoceros’s. The T. rex is very interesting because the teeth turn out to be broken. They break by eating dinosaurs and dinosaur bones and fall off and they don’t even notice it while they eat their dinner. The T. rex has very little nostrils but they can still breathe. The nostril is at the tip of the nose, and the eye opening kind of looks like a sock. The eye is at the top of the “sock.” There are a lot of muscles in a T. rex skull. The muscle wraps around inside of the skull to hold the skull together. Some of the muscles go to the outside of the skull. The teeth of the T. rex can grow to about 15 centimeters, with a 17 centimeter root. I love the T . rex!!!!!!! T. rex had a hole behind its eye, with bone in it for muscles to attach to. If you see a T. rex skull, you may see some little dots. Those dots are used for carrying blood to the skin or lips to make the dinosaur look scary. When you look at a dinosaur skull, you may see a little hole in front of the eye and poke your finger through. That was used when the dinosaur was alive for an air sac to go into the bone.
The Velociraptor was a predatory raptor from the late Cretaceous Period. It is famous for the second digit on its foot, which was ‘cocked’ and was used to stab and slash at the Velociraptor’s prey. Hunting in packs, they could take down prey many times their size.  It is thought that they were warm-blooded to some degree, due the large amount of energy needed to hunt. The first specimen was discovered in the Mongolian Desert in 1922. The Falcarius was an omnivorous therizinosaurian dinosaur from the Cretaceous Period. It is related to the larger predators, such as the Tyrannosaurus rex. The therizinosauroids are famous for their large claws, with those of some species reaching six feet long. The first specimen was discovered in Utah in 2005.
[note: Izzi switched from Anhanguera (the pterodactyl with her in the pic) to Smilodon and Thylacosmilus.] The Smilodon shares very similar hunting tactics with the Thylacosmilus. They both have long, sharp teeth, a similar jaw and facial structure, and both kill their prey by puncturing its airway. They could be easily mistaken by looking at their skeleton for each other, but are two distinctly different species.

— Photography by Amy Martiny —

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Last updated: 11/19/2015