GBIO 670 - The Link Between Dinosaurs and Birds - Evolution and Classification (3 Credits)
This course asks the question, “Did dinosaurs really go extinct 65 million years ago?” The course explores the overwhelming evidence suggesting that one branch of the dinosaur family tree managed to survive and lives among us today: we call them birds. Students will study the theropod group of dinosaurs (Tyrannosaurus rex and Velociraptor belonged to it), applying paleontologists’ tools and techniques, to determine which of these dinosaurs are most closely related to modern birds. The course also explores how fossils are collected and prepared and how scientists uncover the evolutionary relationships between species. Students will study theropod anatomy, genealogy, biology and behavior; fossilization and collection of dinosaurs; the origin of birds; dinosaur extinction and relatedness; and, living dinosaurs and their history after the demise of traditional dinosaurs.
Key science concepts covered include biological evolution and classification; extinction; geologic time; and, how to examine evidence, interpret and analyze data, and draw conclusions. The course utilizes a diverse array of Museum instructional resources in a structured distance-learning environment.