Dino 101: Dinosaur Paleobiology

University of Alberta

Dino 101: Dinosaur Paleobiology is a fascinating 12-lesson course offered by the University of Alberta. Delve into the world of non-avian dinosaurs and explore their anatomy, eating habits, locomotion, growth, behavioral adaptations, and their origins and extinction.

  • Comprehensive 12-lesson course
  • Covers anatomy, eating, locomotion, growth, and extinction
  • Lessons delivered from museums, fossil-preparation labs, and dig sites
  • Estimated workload: 3-5 hrs/week

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Dino 101: Dinosaur Paleobiology
Course Modules

Dino 101: Dinosaur Paleobiology comprises 12 modules covering a wide range of topics, including appearance and anatomy, death and fossilization, eating habits, locomotion, reproductive biology, species differentiation, evolution, geologic time, paleogeography, dinosaur origins, and extinction.

Appearance and Anatomy

Module 1: Appearance and Anatomy explores the physical characteristics and skeletal structure of non-avian dinosaurs, providing insights into their size, musculature, and different types of saurischians and ornithischians. Meet the instructional staff and delve into the course glossary for a comprehensive understanding of the subject.

Death and Fossilization

Module 2: Death and Fossilization delves into taphonomy, the process of fossilization, and the fieldwork involved in uncovering dinosaur remains, offering a unique perspective on how fossils are formed and preserved over time.


Module 3: Eating investigates the diverse dietary habits of non-avian dinosaurs, focusing on their teeth, claws, and the methods used to determine their diet, shedding light on the fascinating world of dinosaur nutrition.

Moving Around

Module 4: Moving Around explores the locomotion and physical capabilities of dinosaurs, including their stance, limbs, and trackways, offering insights into the metabolism and movement patterns of these prehistoric creatures.

Birth, Growth and Reproduction

Module 5: Birth, Growth and Reproduction delves into the reproductive biology of dinosaurs, examining their eggs, the development of young dinosaurs, and the differences between male and female dinosaurs.

Attack and Defense

Module 6: Attack and Defense explores the defensive and offensive adaptations of dinosaurs, as well as their intraspecific interactions, providing a comprehensive understanding of how dinosaurs navigated their environment and interacted with each other.

What is a Species?

Module 7: What is a Species? delves into the process of naming and differentiating species, focusing on the holotype and providing a deeper understanding of how species are categorized in the field of paleobiology.


Module 8: Evolution examines the evolutionary relationships of dinosaurs, including clades and convergence, shedding light on the transition from dinosaurs to modern-day birds.

Stratigraphy and Geologic Time

Module 9: Stratigraphy and Geologic Time explores deep time, stratigraphy, and the age of dinosaurs, offering a comprehensive overview of the geological context in which dinosaurs thrived and eventually became extinct.

Paleogeography and Plate Tectonics

Module 10: Paleogeography and Plate Tectonics delves into paleogeography, continental movement, paleoclimates, and dinosaur diversity, providing insights into the environmental factors that shaped the distribution and diversity of dinosaurs.

Dinosaur Origins

Module 11: Dinosaur Origins investigates the origins of dinosaurs, focusing on diapsids and the rise of dinosaurs, offering a unique perspective on the early evolutionary history of these fascinating creatures.

Dinosaur Extinction

Module 12: Dinosaur Extinction examines the causes of dinosaur extinction, including the Chicxulub impactor, and explores the concept of resurrecting dinosaurs, offering a thought-provoking conclusion to the course.

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