HONR 259C "Fearfully Great Lizards": Topics in Dinosaur Research

Fall Semester 2020

Detail from "Albertosaurus sarcophagus, Anchiceratops ornatus, Hypacrosaurus altispinus" (1979) by Gregory S. Paul


(Specific days are listed for due dates of assignments and for synchronous meetings, which will be at 10 am Eastern. Lectures should be viewed prior to the weekly Zoom meeting (other than August 31))

Week of Aug. 31
8/31 Zoom: Introduction to the Class and Course; Logistics
Lecture: "Fearfully Great Lizards": A History of Dinosaur Research
Lecture: "How does Science work?": Scientific Research and Argumentation Examined

Week of Sept. 7
Lecture: "Doc Holtz's School of Rock": Introduction to Geology and Fossilization (Parts I and II)
9/11 Zoom: Anatomy of a Scientific Paper
9/11 Mastery Quiz 1 due

Week of Sept. 14
Lecture: "Finding Fossils": Process of Discovery and Recovery of Fossils & Paleonenvironmental Interpretation
Lecture: "Dinosaur Osteology": Overview of Anatomy
9/18 Zoom: Beyond the analytical paper (examining the varieties of scientific literature) & Overview of the Presentations

Week of Sept. 21
Lecture: "Identifying Dinosaurs": Basics of Species and Taxonomy
Lecture: "Descent with Modification": Overview of Evolution
9/25 Zoom: Presentations 1-3 & Comparison of media reports & scientific papers
9/25 Mastery Quiz 2 due

Week of Sept. 28
Lecture: "Reconstructing the Tree of Life": Phylogenetics and Phylogenetic inference
Lecture: "Dinosaurs in the Tree of Life": Interrelationships of Vertebrates
10/2 Zoom: Presentations 4-6 & Estimating dinosaur size

Week of Oct. 5
Lecture: "Dinosaur Origins & Interrelationships": The Major Branches of Dinosaurs
Lecture: "Dinosaur Diversity: Ornithischia": The Bird-Hipped Dinosaurs
10/9 Zoom: Presentations 7-9 & Dinosaur Display & Overview of Capstone Project
10/9 Mastery Quiz 3 due

Week of Oct. 12
Lecture: "Dinosaur Diversity: Ornithischia (concl.)": The Bird-Hipped Dinosaurs
Lecture: "Dinosaur Diversity: Sauropodomorpha": The Long-Necked Plant-Eaters
10/16 Zoom: Presentations 10-12

Week of Oct. 19
Lecture: "Dinosaur Diversity: Theropoda:" The Carnivorous Dinosaurs (Parts I & II)
10/23 Zoom: Presentations 13-15
10/23 Capstone Proposal Due
10/23 Mastery Quiz 4 due

Week of Oct. 26
Lecture: "Dinosaur Diversity: Maniraptora": The Feathered Dinosaurs
"Dinosaur Diversity: Avialae": Bird Origins
10/30 Zoom: Presentations 16-20

Week of Nov. 2
Lecture: "What was on the outside of dinosaurs?": Dinosaur Integument
Lecture: "Dinosaurs Take Wing": Origins of Avian Flight
11/6 Zoom: Capstone One-slide Proposals

Week of Nov. 9
Lecture: "Walking with Dinosaurs": Dinosaur Terrestrial Locomotion
Lecture: "Bringing Up Baby: Dinosaur Reproduction and Ontogeny
11/13 Zoom: Dinosaur documentaries: how much is real?
11/13 Mastery Quiz 5 due

Week of Nov. 16
Lecture: "The Hot-Blooded Dinosaurs": Dinosaur Physiology (Parts I & II)
11/20 Zoom: Dinosaur physiology
11/20 Capstone Draft Due

Week of Nov. 23
Lecture: "The Cretaceous-Paleogene Mass Extinction": Background

Nov. 25-27
THANKSGIVING: enjoy your roasted maniraptoran

Week of Nov. 30
Lecture: "The Cretaceous-Paleogene Mass Extinction": Impacts and Recovery (two lectures)
12/4 Zoom: Extinction and recovery
12/4 Capstone Draft Peer Reviews Due
12/4 Mastery Quiz 6

Week of Dec. 7
Lecture: "Who Owns the Fossil Record?": The Fossil Trade and Paleo-Ethics
Lecture: Dinosaurs in Popular Culture
12/11 Zoom: Who Owns the Fossil Record?

Week of Dec. 14
12/14 Lecture and Zoom: "Dinosaur Legacy": What can we learn from dinosaurs? What do we still need to learn about dinosaurs?"
12/14 Mastery Quiz 7 due

Dec. 22 (TUESDAY!!)

For a formatted printable copy of the complete syllabus, click here.

Last modified: 7 December 2020
Detail from "Omeisaurus tianfuensis" by Román García Mora (2013)