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Iguanodon Tooth

Episode:12Te Papa Collection:History

Suggested curriculum levels:3 – 7

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

Description:The fossil that started the study of dinosaurs is one of Te Papa's greatest treasures. Dr Hamish Campbell shows us the very first artefact from the giant lizards.

Questions for students

  1. Why was the discovery of this tooth so significant? Why is it referred to as the 'Holy grail of natural science'?
  2. Where was the tooth found? Who found it? How do you think it came to be at Te Papa?
  3. The presenter says that the tooth must have come from an animal of roughly 8 metres in length. How can scientists make these assumptions? What information do they use?
  4. When was the word 'dinosaur' first used and by whom? What is the origin of the word 'dinosaur'?
  5. What does the presenter mean when he says this discovery gave humanity 'the concept of extinction'? Why is that so significant? What questions does this raise for you? Identify one or more questions to research. Use the 'Key questions' response template to record questions and possible sources of information. Make notes from each source and combine these to answer your questions.

Related templates:

Key questions