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Giant Ammonite

Episode:7Te Papa Collection:Natural Environment

Suggested curriculum levels:3 – 5

Curriculum connections:English: Listening, Reading, and Viewing, Science: Living World

Description:One of New Zealand's largest fossils is on permanent display in Te Papa. Riria Hotere goes back to the time of dinosaurs to meet an enormous, armoured squid-like creature.

Questions for students

  1. What is an ammonite? Who found the specimen? When and where was it found? How was it collected?
  2. Ammonites lived in the Jurassic period of Earth's history. Find out the names of the different periods of this history. Include the time span and unique characteristics of each period.
  3. What present-day animal is the ammonite most closely related to? Use the 'Comparisons' response template to record the differences and similarities. Create a visual representation to illustrate your information.
  4. Find out more about how ammonites used water and air to move through the ocean. What scientific principles do they illustrate?
  5. What do you think would have been the predator of the Giant Ammonite? What behavioural and physical adaptations would have helped ammonites to survive?

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