Fossilized feathers on the forelimb of a Zhenyuanlong dinosaur
Ok, so that may be over exaggerating, but new fossils of a velociraptor relative have been unearthed with some evidence of soft tissue such as primitive feathers. While this is not my field of study, I (like many people) are fascinated by dinosaurs and would prefer the idea of scary (and scaly) beasties as seen in the Jurassic Park movies, but this discovery is interesting in another way. It demonstrates the evolutionary link between Dinosaurs of long ago and their feathery compatriots of today.
We used to think that this family of dinosaurs looked like this - scaly, probably brown and green and lean.
Of course the link between dinosaurs and birds has been something that paleontologists have been aware of for some time. Many dinosaurs have beaky snouts, stand on their back legs, have feeble front limbs (like chicken wings), lay eggs, make nests and other similar traits. However, the strongest link between the two groups is hips. There is a remarkable similarity between dinosaur hips and bird hips, and I believe (although I am no expert) that this similarity unites all dinosaurs.
Now we think they look more like a giant goose!
The interesting question that paleontologists are asking now is: why did feathers evolve in the first place? This is why I love science: Just when you think that you know everything there is to know about nature, you realize that you're only just scratching the surface and there is another whole level underneath.
I requested some resources for the coming year by fundraising through a crowdsourcing site called Donors Choose. I asked for some basic resources that myself and the other science teachers agreed we could use and posted a request.
Students using some of the materials we purchased with the DonorsChoose fundraiser.
Although the items only cost a few hundred dollars, I was astonished to find that within a morning of emailing parents about the fundraiser, we were fully funded.
With the money, we were able to purchase meter sticks, constant velocity cars and a high frame rate digital camera (that takes up to 240 frames per second).
Parents at Hawbridge are really awesome and I would like to take this moment to thank you all for your support. Without which we could not achieve so many of the things that we are able to do.
Welcome to Coach Cowland Science.
This website provides supplemental and support information for students in my math and science classes and for home school students who would like use the resources available.
To find information on your class, click the class link in the menu bar. If you have any comments about the website, please email me at my school email address.